Gum disease is one of the most common health problems in the United States. Not many things affect 75 to 80 percent of the population over the course of their lifetimes.
Gum disease is not something you want to invite to your holiday parties or for Christmas dinner. If anything, it can ruin your festive feelings during this time of year … or any time of year. We understand this at Uptown Dental Associates, which is why we want you to know the signs that gum disease may be visiting you.
It’s also why we want you to call 505-407-8781 to schedule a gum disease treatment or a professional cleaning to keep gum disease away. If you live in or near Albuquerque, NM, we want to help you have a healthy mouth.
Are You Doing What You Should To Fight Gum Disease?
Many people mistakenly believe having gums that bleed when you floss is a sign that they are healthy. That’s simply not the case.
If your gums are bleeding, something is wrong. If they bleed when you brush or floss, that’s a sign of gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. Along with red, swollen gum tissue, bleeding gums are a clue that you may not be caring for your gums as well as you should.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing between your teeth and gums every day. According to a recent ADA survey, however, 60 percent of people say they don’t floss day. That includes 20 percent of people who say they never floss.
That may also explain why the Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly half of American adults will experience advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
Brushing can remove a lot of bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. But your toothbrush can’t clean all the spaces between your teeth and below your gumline. Flossing is how you reach those harder to reach places.
And if you either can’t or won’t use dental floss, there are alternatives. Flossers have short handles with a piece of floss on one end. Many people find these more comfortable to use than regular flossing.
Another effective option is a water flosser. You can find these devices in a wide range of prices. Studies have shown they compare well with flossing in terms of removing bacteria, plaque, and food particles.
It may go without saying, but regular professional dental cleanings and exams at Uptown Dental Associates also help you prevent gum disease and treat it in its earliest stages.
Gum Disease Can Affect You In Many Ways
When left untreated, gum disease can become a serious oral health problem. It’s also important to note that it can harm your overall health as well.
In the advanced stages, gum disease can lead to gum recession, allowing bacteria, plaque, and tartar to form on the roots of your teeth. This increases your risk of tooth infections requiring root canal treatments.
At this same time, this creates an opportunity for bacteria to attack the bones holding your teeth in place. This is part of the reason gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US.
Pain can be a symptom of gum disease, too, but not always. One symptom you might notice, however, is bad breath. As gum disease gets worse, more bacteria live in your mouth. That can leave you with a bad taste that just won’t go away.
Gum disease also has been linked with other health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. Researchers have found that the same bacteria that cause gum disease have been found in the hearts of heart disease patients.
With diabetes, the links aren’t quite as straightforward. People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum problems. There is also evidence that people with gum disease have a more difficult time controlling their blood sugar levels.
Those are not the only ways gum disease has been connected to overall health issues. But they are a reminder that your oral health and your overall health are connected.
Be Nice To Your Gums
If you have not yet scheduled your next dental cleaning and exam, call 505-407-8781 today or contact us online. Our team at Uptown Dental Associates is ready to help you keep smiling this holiday season and into next year.