Brushing and flossing protect your teeth, but do you know it is just as important to protect the health of your gums? Gum disease (officially known as periodontal disease) is an infection in your gums. It is one of the main causes for adult tooth loss. Because it is pain-free, gum disease can continue for years until it is too late to save a person’s teeth. This is why regular dental checkups and vigilant at-home dental care are so important.
Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup. When plaque is not removed with brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, it creates toxins that damage the gums. Gum disease forms just beneath the gum-line, creating small pockets that cause the teeth to separate from the gums.
Gum disease occurs in two stages:
Symptoms of gum disease are subtle, but include:
There is treatment for gum disease, especially if it is caught early. Treatment options include:
Prevention is the best treatment for gum disease! Regular dental checkups and at-home dental care are the best tools you have to protect against gum disease. If you are concerned about gum disease or you want to be sure you are doing all you can to reduce your risk, speak to your dentist.