Did you know that more than 75% of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease? If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. In order to keep your teeth, you have to take care of your gums. Here is how to care for your gums and maintain a healthy smile.
Inside your mouth, there are millions of bacteria that are constantly moving around; while not all this bacteria is harmful, some of that bacteria will attack your teeth and gums. The harmful bacteria hides in that colorless sticky film that covers your teeth (i.e. plaque). Plaque feels like a slick film when you run your tongue across your teeth.
If plaque stays in its place, it will build up and irritate your gums, leading them to become inflamed and bleed easily. Many people do not floss regularly because they say their gums bleed. Some people even believe that bleeding gums is normal. However, if you floss regularly, your gums will become less inflamed and will not bleed. Bleeding gums is usually a sign of inflammation, and not flossing could be the culprit.
Many adults do not know very much about gum disease. They are ignorant of both the symptoms and the consequences of gum disease. Since gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, it is important to know how to either prevent or maintain gum disease, if you already have it.
Gum disease often progresses silently and painlessly. You may not even know you have gum disease until you go to your dentist for a checkup or when you get your teeth professionally cleaned. The most common warning signs of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed during and after toothbrushing
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Red, swollen or tender gums
Even if you don’t think you have any of these symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. You won’t truly know until you see a dental professional who can evaluate the health of your gums and teeth.
At Growing Smiles Pediatric & Family Dentistry, we care about the oral health of the entire family. To schedule an appointment today, simply give us a call or book an appointment online!