Gingivitis is essentially one of the many forms of periodontal diseases involving serious bacterial infections. When left untreated, gingivitis, or any type of periodontal disease in general, can lead to tooth loss.
Millions of people have some of form of periodontal disease, and most are totally unaware of their condition. In fact, at least 80 percent of the U.S. adult population has periodontal disease. Symptoms of gingivitis ranges from simple gum inflammation to loose or shifting teeth. But some cases of periodontal diseases didn’t even manifest the common signs of periodontal disease. In fact, gum disease will only affect certain teeth like the molars.
Only a periodontist or a dentist who specializes in periodontal disease can assess the progression of gum disease. It is, therefore, vital that you see a periodontist in your area if you see any of the following warning signs of gum disease:
- Red, tender, and often swollen gums
- Shooting pain in the mouth
- Receding gum, or a condition that makes the teeth look longer than before
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Lingering bad taste in the mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- Change in how your teeth fit together upon biting down
Gum disease doesn’t end with tooth loss. Periodontal disease is often linked to other life-threatening diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and stroke among others. The CDC says that certain types of bacteria and microorganisms in the mouth can make its way into the bloodstream, which can cause havoc elsewhere in the body. Gum disease does not only increase a person’s risk of diabetes but can also make diabetes worse.
A healthy gum is not only a prerequisite to a great smile but for one’s wellbeing. Gum disease can be prevented and even be reversed. The key to healthy gums is dental hygiene, particularly proper plaque control. And this routine goes beyond your normal brushing habit. Proper plaque control has three foundations: Regular professional cleanings, flossing, and, of course, daily brushing. Flossing removes plaque and food particles under the gum line and in between teeth while what brushing delivers is essentially surface cleaning. What about mouthwash? The American Dental Association says antibacterial mouth rinse is definitely a practical investment in preventing gum disease and plaque.
Complement your healthy dental habits with lifestyle and health changes that will and can decrease your risk of gum disease.
- Reduce stress. A healthy immune system is vital in fighting off infection caused by microorganisms and bacteria that thrives in your mouth.
- Smile. And avoid grinding and clenching your teeth. Compared to smiling, clenching and grinding your teeth exerts unnecessary and even damaging force on the supporting tissues of the teeth, increasing the rate at which the tissues are destroyed.
In spite of healthy oral habits and your efforts to make healthy lifestyle choices, the American Dental Association reports that at least 30 percent of the U.S. population is genetically predisposed to developing gum disease. And those who have it “in them” are six times more likely to develop some form of periodontal disease at some point of their lives.