Statistics show that well over half the adult population in America has some form of gum disease. This is a serious problem given that studies have found a link between the disease and such issues as oral cancer, heart disease, stroke, pancreatic cancer and other serious health challenges. While your dentist in Dublin can effectively treat gum disease should it arise, let’s take a look at some things you can do to prevent the condition from developing.
What is Gum Disease?
The first place to start in the fight against gum disease is to understand what the condition is. The primary characters here are oral bacteria. When foods or beverages are consumed, if not removed, any leftovers can attract the bacteria, which will continue to grow in number if not addressed.
Over time, dental negligence can lead to several different types of bacteria forming plaque, which is a clear sticky substance. Unaddressed, it can begin to work its way beneath the gum line to cause inflammation, infection and the formation of germ pockets.
This is considered the first stage of gum disease (called gingivitis), and these are some of the warning signs you may notice:
If you recognize any of the above, you should immediately bring it to your dentist’s attention.
Other Potential Causes of Gum Disease
In addition to dental negligence, gum disease can be brought on by hormonal changes, such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Certain illnesses like HIV, cancer and diabetes have also been linked to the condition.
Additionally, some medications have been found to contribute to gum disease because they lessen the flow of saliva, which creates a drier mouth that is more susceptible to gum disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
Before getting to the point where you need treatment for gum disease, wouldn’t it be easier to take the necessary precautions? Let’s take a look at what you can do:
Brush and Floss Regularly
Consistently cleaning your teeth helps to limit the food supply for bacteria. Brushing and flossing at least two times a day serves as the perfect combination to protect your teeth and gums.
Monitor Your Sugar Intake
Because sugar is the primary sustenance for bacteria, the less you consume, the better your chances of guarding against gum disease.
Avoid Tobacco Usage
Not only is smoking or chewing tobacco detrimental to your overall health, but the toxins released in your mouth can leave you more vulnerable to developing gum disease.
Visit Your Dentist
Your local dentist is your ally in the fight against gum disease. By visiting every six months for cleanings and examinations, you can have the assurance that your oral health is in excellent condition and that any developing issues can be stopped before they get worse.
To protect yourself, take action by implementing what you’ve learned, and reach out to schedule your first visit today!
About the Author
Since earning his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eric Buck has been an advocate of preventive dentistry. While he helps his patients avoid gum disease, he also provides treatment for the condition at Distinctive Smiles. Dr. Buck can be reached for more information through his website.