When you brush your teeth everyday, you are likely thinking of the fight against cavities. However, by engaging in a disciplined oral heath routine, you are also battling a major oral health condition. Gum disease, although it is highly preventable, affects up to 75% of people in the developed world. Unfortunately, only 2% of those that suffer actually seek professional treatment. Plaque and tartar build up, if not removed, cause infection that leads to gum disease. Even if you are confident that you brush and floss daily and are diligent in keeping your routine dental cleanings, it is still critical that you are aware of the symptoms of periodontal disease (or gum disease). If you notice any of these major warning signs, it is best to let your dentist evaluate you:
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Chronic bad breath
- Appearance of pus between teeth when you press on your gums
- Change in your bite
- Loose teeth or gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
Lazy brushers and infrequent dental patients are not the only ones at risk for developing gum disease. If you have a smoking habit, you are at a significant risk. Heredity also contributes to your tendency for gum disease. Therefore, if you brush and floss daily and you do not have a smoking habit, it is still imperative that you see your dentist regularly to be sure your family history of gum disease is not showing signs in your mouth.
Knowing the early signs of gum disease and seeing your dentist contributes greatly to your periodontal treatment success. It is also important to know that researchers have discovered a strong link between gum disease and other serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Even though your gums seem like a small or insignificant part of your body, they are huge markers of your overall health. Park South Dentistry provides comprehensive periodontal care to patients at any stage of gum disease to help them regain the healthy mouth they deserve.