What Are The Odds That You Have Gum Disease?
Your chance of becoming a billionaire is 1 in 785,000. You have a 1 in 1,500,000 chance of becoming a movie star.
Unfortunately, you have a 4 in 5 chance of getting gum disease in your lifetime, according to the American Dental Hygienists Association.
Knowing this, the team at the office of Denise DiBona, DDS, wants to keep your gums and your mouth as healthy as possible. In this post, we will take some time to discuss what gum disease is, the symptoms of gum disease, and the gum disease treatments that we offer in our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ.
What Is Gum Disease?
Put simply, gum disease is an infection that affects your gum tissue. There are two major forms for gum disease gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is considered a milder form of a gum disease. This is more easily treated and can be reversed with basic oral hygiene.
The symptoms of gingivitis are:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums that appear redder than normal
- Gums that are swollen
If you do not take steps to treat your gingivitis, then it can develop into periodontitis. This is a more advanced form of gum disease, and as you might expect, the symptoms are more severe.
In addition to the symptoms of gingivitis, someone with periodontitis may have:
- Gums that are tender
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from your teeth
- Gums with pockets in them
- Gums that are leaking pus
- A lingering bad taste in his or her mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth that feel loose
The reason your teeth may feel loose (or fall out) is because periodontitis attacks the bone that holds your teeth in place.
It’s also worth noting that the American Academy of Periodontology reported on a recent national study on gum disease. In that study, the Centers for Disease Control found that nearly half (47.2 percent) of adults 30 and over in the U.S. have periodontitis.
Risk Factors For Gum Disease
Anyone can develop gum disease. If you do not take care of your mouth like you should, you are increasing the likelihood that you will have gum problems.
Aside from poor oral hygiene, here are other factors that increase your risk of having gum disease:
◼︎ Being a female going through hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, or menopause)
◼︎ Having a poor fitting dental bridge
◼︎ Having crooked teeth (which can be more difficult to keep clean)
◼︎ Having diabetes
◼︎ Smoking or using tobacco products
◼︎ Having defective tooth fillings
◼︎ Having dry mouth (possibly as a side effect of medication)
◼︎ Having a family history of gum disease
As you can see, you can’t control all the factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease. You can control what you will do about gum disease, however.
Prevention And Treatment
As with any disease, prevention is always a better option than treatment. If you don’t develop the problem, then you won’t need to treat it.
As we mentioned, good oral hygiene is your best defense against gum disease.
This is why dentists encourage our patients to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. It’s also why you should floss every day. This removes a lot of the bacteria from between your teeth and gums from the places that you can’t reach with your toothbrush.
And last but not least, you should be visiting Denise DiBona, DDS, twice a year for routine cleanings and examinations. Our team will remove any plaque or tartar that you missed, and we will watch for signs of gum disease.
If we catch it in the early stages, improving your daily dental routine may be enough to reverse your problem.
If we find signs of advanced gum disease, then we will need to go further.
One example of this is scaling and root planing. During this procedure, we clean underneath your gumline to remove any bacteria, plaque, or tartar that hard formed around the roots of your teeth.
We also may recommend pastes, special mouth rinses, or antibiotic gels to help prevent your gum disease from recurring.
Protect Your Mouth
Most people think of their teeth when they think of oral hygiene, but your gums are just as important to if you want a healthy mouth.
Fight gum disease by brushing and flossing daily and by visiting our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ, for routine cleanings and exams.