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Do you want to keep your beautiful smile? Then you should learn more about gum disease as it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and other dental problems. Gum disease, which is also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, is the result of bacteria in your mouth destroying and eroding the tissue around your teeth. As your gums recede, your teeth and the roots of your teeth are more exposed to plaque. This can cause cavities, advanced tooth decay, and even the need for root canals. In the worst case scenario, you could lose your teeth. If you want to prevent these problems, then continue reading.

Gum Disease is Different from Gum Inflammation

Gum disease is not the same thing as gum inflammation; though, gum inflammation often occurs before gum disease begins. Gum inflammation is an early warning sign that you need to adjust your oral hygiene habits. If gum inflammation is ignored, you are likely to end up with gum disease.

What are the Primary Causes of Gum Disease?

periodontitis-due-to-maloclussionIn general, gum disease is typically caused by the presence of plaque buildup; though, other problems can lead to gum disease as well. Certain illnesses can increase the chances of getting gum disease. For example, diabetes changes your ability to regulate blood sugar and increases the risk of getting infections. Medications that affect your saliva can also add to the chances of gum disease. Smoking can make it more difficult for your gum tissue to heal. Finally, oral hygiene plays the biggest part in preventing or getting gum disease.

How Can You Tell if You Have Gum Disease?

The best way to find out if you actually have gum disease is to visit your dentist. He can examine your gums and easily determine if you have gum disease. Before you visit the dentist, there are some early warning signs to pay attention to. You may notice that your gums bleed after you brush your teeth. Other signs include swollen gums, bad breath, receding gums, and a loosening of your teeth. You may also notice that your bite is different, due to teeth shifting.

When you visit your dentist, he will check for several factors to determine if you have gum disease. He will check the firmness of your gums, whether your gums are bleeding, and whether your teeth are properly aligned.

The process of treating gum disease will vary depending on severe your case of gum disease is as well as other conditions. There are options for controlling bacterial growth without surgery as well as oral surgery options that will help reduce swelling and the stop the gum disease from progressing. The exact treatment will depend on how far the disease has developed.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is to control the amount of plaque on your teeth. Preventing the buildup of plaque can be done by brushing regularly and using mouthwash to rinse excess plaque away. The way mouthwash works is that it reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth – which causes plaque. Brushing your teeth will help remove plaque from the enamel of your teeth, while flossing will remove food debris from between your teeth and around your gums. Further suggestions include quitting smoking tobacco if you are a smoker, eating a healthy diet and limiting the amount of sugary food you eat, and trying to avoid grinding your teeth.

Even with good oral hygiene, you may eventually end up with some level of gum disease. That is why it is recommended that you get regular dental exams. Not only will this help you remain aware of the state of your gums and your teeth, it can help you prevent other dental problems as well. At Dcentral Practice, we are ready to help you prevent gum disease and maintain your smile. Contact us today to setup an appointment with our highly skilled dentists.