What You Should Know about Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis
When your dentist or hygienist talks to you about brushing and flossing daily, itâ€™s not because she has a burning desire to lecture you â€“ nor is it because the clinic owns stock in a dental supply company. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once and having your teeth cleaned twice a year goes a long way toward treating and preventing periodontal or gum disease.
Stages and Signs of Gum Disease / Periodontal Disease
Gum disease develops in stages, beginning with gingivitis. It happens when dental plaque, a sticky yellow film made up of bacteria, accumulates on teeth. The bacteria are fed by foods and beverages and excrete toxic waste that cause inflammation called endotoxins. Those bacterial inflammatory endotoxins somet
imes collect in the little pockets that surround each tooth, causing the gums to become red and inflamed and bleed easily.
Some other signs of gum disease include:
- Receding gums
- Pus between the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Bad breath
Gum Disease and Your Health
Further, Gum disease can have serious implications for your overall health.Â According to a study conducted by Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter, Treating gum disease may lessen the burden of heart disease, diabetes, other conditions.Â The study finds that Gum disease â€œis closely linked to premature birth, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health problems. Now, a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that treating gum disease (also called periodontal disease) can lead to better health â€” as evidenced by lower health care costs and fewer hospitalizations â€” among people with common health conditions.â€
Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease and Gingivitis
Gingivitis can be reversed with flossing and brushing.Â However, if it isnâ€™t treated, it can progress to moderate and eventually severe gum disease, which can lead to serious bone and tooth loss. Unfortunately, once the destructive process has begun, it is very difficult to stop.
Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s best to develop good brushing and flossing habits now, no matter how old you are. Ask your hygienist for guidance on the best teeth cleaning methods to avoid gum disease and spend the time each day to save your teeth because theyâ€™re the only teeth you get.