Are Your Gums Healthy?
Do you know that when you visit our office for a routine hygiene examination we do more than just clean your teeth? In fact, we monitor and check for a silent disease that affects more than 50 percent of adults in the US. If left untreated, this disease can lead to tooth loss and has the potential to affect not only your dental health, but your overall health as well. Continue reading to learn more about this disease.
Recognizing Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious gum infection, accompanied by inflammation, caused by bacterial growth along the gumline and around the base of the tooth. Although many adults have this type of infection, oftentimes it remains undetected until it is too late. Unlike other dental conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease is known as the silent disease because there are no major red flags like extreme discomfort. It is important to be mindful of subtle warning signs that may indicate a potential issue:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Continuous bad breath
- Tender or sore gums
- A receding gum line
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
Studies have found that over 50 percent of adults in the US suffer from some form of gum disease. While not always possible to avoid, there are precautions that can be taken at home to combat and slow the disease:
- Brush Teeth Frequently – By now, we are sure that you have heard numerous times the importance of brushing twice daily, but we also suggest brushing after meals to immediately remove food debris and lessen the chance of accumulating plaque along the gumline.
- Use Dental Floss – Along with brushing often, we suggest using dental floss at least once a day to remove food debris and bacteria left behind when brushing.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – A diet rich in healthy foods containing vitamins A and C can help prevent gum disease. It is best to avoid sugary and starchy foods, which increase plaque production and buildup.
- Know What to Avoid – Smoking, tobacco use, and certain medications can increase your risk for gum disease.
The best way to monitor and prevent gum disease is to stay up to date on your dental hygiene examinations every six months. If you are located in the Seattle area and are concerned about the state of your gums or are in need of a routine dental examination, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.