Healthy Gums are just as important as healthy teeth. After all, these are where the teeth are connected. If your gums are not healthy such as if they are inflamed or swollen, this can lead to various teeth problems, the worst of which is tooth loss. The good news is that there are many easy ways to take care of your teeth as well as your gums.
Gum Disease has two types: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis occurs when bacteria accumulates along the gum line and causes inflammation. When you brush your teeth and the gums bleed or when you have persistent bad breath, it may mean that you have gingivitis. It accounts for about 70 percent of gum disease.
Periodontitis accounts for other 30 percent of gum disease. If the gingivitis is left untreated, the inflammation will reach the connective tissue and bone. This is what's called periodontitis. Symptoms of these are receding gums, visible pockets of inflammation along the gum line, pain in the gums, sensitivity to temperature changes, loose teeth, or falling out of even the healthiest teeth.
Dental Exams for the Prevention of Gum Disease
By the time people see signs of periodontitis, it's already too late to do something about it. Sam Low, DDS, professor of periodontology at the University of Florida and president of the American Academy of Periodontology said that regular dental checkups are vital to maintaining oral health. Your dentist would be able to detect if there are already inflammatory pockets along the gum line or if the gum tissue has already eroded and exposed the teeth root. Catching signs of gum disease as early as possible is very important for the treatment.
How Periodontal Disease Can Affect Your Health
You probably know the gum disease can affect your oral health. It can damage your gums and jawbone, and make the tooth fall out. But that's not all. This inflammatory condition can indeed affect the whole body and your overall health. This is according to Anthony M. Iacopino, DMD, PhD, dean of the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Dentistry. He confirms that periodontal disease increase the inflammation in different parts of the body. The result is heightned risks for:
- heart disease
Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
Because of these problems linked to gum disease, it's imperative to prevent it from happening and treat it immediately in case it does occur.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each session can help in clearing plaque the builds up in the gum line.
- It would be a good idea to invest on an electric toothbrush, which gives you an edge for better oral health with 3,000 to 7,000 strokes per minute compared to 600 strokes given by a regular toothbrush.
- It's also a must to floss daily for those hard-to-reach areas that the toothbrush may miss out.
- For more protection, use antibacterial or antiseptic mouthwash.
If signs of gum disease arise, seek treatment from with dentist right away.