As any dentist will tell you, good oral health isn’t just about your teeth—your gums also play a significant role. Periodontal disease is surprisingly common, affecting some 47 percent of adults aged 30 years and older in the United States. Left untreated, this ailment has serious consequences, including tooth loss. Find out what you need to know to protect your smile.
What Causes Gum Disease
The good news about gum disease is that it is usually avoidable. The most common cause of gingivitis is inadequate oral hygiene. If you brush twice a day, floss every evening and see your dentist for routine checkups, you will likely have healthy gums. Other contributing factors include smoking, substance abuse, and inadequate nutrition, all of which are within your control. Vitamin C, for instance, is known to support healthy gum tissue. A deficiency of this nutrient can thus exacerbate gum disease.
However, there are some conditions linked to gum disease outside of the patient’s influence. For example, pregnant women, people with autoimmune illnesses, and those with diabetes face greater risk. These individuals should speak with their dentist about additional preventative steps, such as more frequent cleanings.
How to Treat the Condition
Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, is usually reversible. This is why it’s essential to recognize symptoms and take action before it progresses. Early-stage symptoms include red and swollen gums, a receding gum line, and bad breath. You may notice bleeding when flossing.
If you think you may have gingivitis, see a dentist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. You can control this gum infection by improving your oral hygiene and regularly scheduling professional teeth cleanings. If the condition progresses, you may require more intensive and costly treatments, such as deep cleaning below the gums or corrective surgery.
Worried about gingivitis? Edward Shluper, DDS of Mountain Lakes, NJ, can help. With an emphasis on preventative care, this dentist provides the guidance and services you need to stay healthy. Dr. Shluper and his team are known for their friendly demeanor, making patients of all ages feel at ease. Get a full overview of their offering, from teeth cleanings to oral exams, online. They are currently welcoming new patients. Call (973) 250-4444 for an appointment.