February brings us some cold weather in Edgewood, but it also brings along national gum disease awareness month. Sure, you may have heard of gum disease but you probably don’t know everything about it and how it can affect you. At Edgewood Dental Care we want to change that.
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, period. Decay and accidents are definitely solid contributors, but they can’t even touch what gum disease can do to your mouth. That’s why the American Dental Association has made February a month for gum disease awareness: so you know the risks, symptoms, and what can be done to prevent serious harm!
Recognizing Gum Disease
A little blood when brushing your teeth is normal, right? Not at all. In fact, even the littlest bit of blood from your gums is an indication that a bacterial infection has already begun. Gum disease progresses slowly as bacteria gets under your gums and spreads uncontrollably. It causes inflammation, which presents in symptoms of redness, swelling, and bleeding.
If you’ve noticed that parts of your gums are redder than others or you’re seeing blood in your mouth when you brush you’re already suffering from gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. The good thing is that noticing these symptoms and beginning treatment now is usually enough to stop gum disease in its tracks.
If those early stages are left untreated you may notice some more serious symptoms developing. Persistent bad breath, gum recession, loosening teeth, and gums that pull away from your teeth are all symptoms of advanced gum disease. Treatment can still be effective at eliminating it at this stage but the side effects will be worse!
Stopping Gum Disease: What You Can Do
Taking proactive steps to prevent gum disease isn’t difficult. In fact, a lot of what you need to do is just modifying your current dental care habits. In many cases a bit of extra attention for your gums can start showing positive results in weeks.
Brushing your teeth should be done twice a day. Most people do this now, but it’s not always easy to know the proper technique to make brushing effective.
- Spend at least two minutes for each brushing session.
- Always use a soft bristled brush – hard bristles tend to damage gums and tooth enamel.
- Brush with short, tooth-width strokes.
- Be sure to get every side of every tooth – it’s essential!
- Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. That way you’re sweeping stuff away from the gumline.
Be sure to floss every day as well! This is one of the most essential parts of maintaining a healthy gum-disease free mouth. Plaque bacteria and food particles tend to settle in hard-to-reach areas that you can’t get a brush into, which is why it’s so essential to floss daily!
We can’t tell you how to fight gum disease without including one essential part of prevention: regular dental cleanings and exams at our Edgewood office. No matter how good you are at fighting gum disease you still can’t get rid of every bit of bacteria. All it takes is a little bit getting below your gumline to cause serious damage!
We can treat your gum disease in several ways, all depending on the severity of your condition. You don’t need to worry about it being too late to reverse the damage – we’re able to help! We can’t help, however, if we don’t see you on a regular basis. Good home care is just one half of the oral health puzzle – the other half is cleanings and exams to be sure nothing is starting or getting worse.
Treating Gum Disease Is Easy
In most cases we can eliminate symptoms of gingivitis by simply giving your teeth a good deep cleaning. This process involves going below the gumline with special tools to remove plaque and tartar that’s built up. In more serious cases we’ll need to use laser therapy and other methods of removing damaged tissue, but our modern technology makes those treatments simple, fast, and pain-free.
If you’re concerned about gum disease symptoms – even just a little bit of blood when you brush – don’t take chances! The longer you wait to get the care you need the worse the outcome will be. Our Edgewood dental team can help protect your teeth, prevent the spread of gum disease, and reverse any damage you may have already suffered.