Do you experience bleeding when brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods?
Do your gums look red and swollen?
If you've answered "yes" to either of these questions, you may be experiencing the early signs of gum disease.
Gum disease is characterized by inflammation of the gum tissue caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. Gum disease progresses in stages:
-Gingivitis: the early stage of gum disease characterized by bleeding, red and swollen gum tissue. This stage is reversible.
-Periodontitis: stage in which gum inflammation has effected the underlying bone support for your teeth. This stage is irreversible.
-Advanced Periodontitis: stage in which gum inflammation and bone loss can cause teeth to shift, loosen, or need to be removed.
Routine dental visits in conjunction with an adequate home care regimen are key in preventing gum disease. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day help to remove the dental plaque that forms on your teeth each and every day. Incorporating a daily mouth rinse will also help decrease the bacteria count in your mouth. Routine dental visits allows your health care professionals to monitor any slight changes in your teeth and gums to maintain the integrity of your oral health. These healthy habits can help ensure the health and longevity of your smile!
Remember: you only need to brush and floss the teeth you want to keep!
-Jennifer Corley, RDH