Some things in life are unavoidable, and this can be especially true when it comes to diseases we may encounter. Some are passed on from family genes, some happen as a result of aging and some may not have an identifiable cause.
But gum disease, and the damage it can cause to our teeth and overall health, is almost completely avoidable. Yet, many adults have some form of the disease – from simple gum inflammation to major damage of soft tissue and bone.
Here’s what it is
Gum disease happens when the bacteria in plaque build up between our gums and teeth, and the gums become inflamed. Left untreated, the inflammation can cause the gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate, leading to gum recession and even tooth loss. And research shows that gum disease may be associated with other illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Here’s what you can do
Some simple good habits as part of your daily routine may help you avoid dental disease. So why not do this:
When you brush, you are helping to remove trapped food and plaque that can cause gum disease. So gently brush your teeth, gums and tongue after every meal. And consider getting an electric toothbrush, which can do an even better job.
Like brushing, flossing can help remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along your gum line. But floss can reach areas that your toothbrush can’t. So floss at least once a day.
Mouthwash can also help remove food particles and reduce plaque that your brushing and flossing might miss. So swish some mouthwash after you brush.
As with most diseases, your age, your diet, your genetics and whether or not you smoke can all affect your risk for gum disease. So know your risk level, eat healthier and quit smoking.
When you visit your dentist regularly, he or she can spot problems early, when they’re most easily solved. Identifying symptoms of gum disease (and taking action) is key to avoiding it. So make your appointment today: 847-223-5200.