A healthy mouth isn’t just about how white your teeth are. Your gums need to be cleaned and taken care of as well! Unfortunately, simple gum care can easily be forgotten and leave your gums vulnerable to infection and disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of the adult population suffers from gum disease. Although relatively harmless at first, this easily preventable condition is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S. Read on as your Long Island City dentist breaks down what gum disease is and how you can protect your happy, healthy smile.
What Is Gum Disease?
When bacteria-filled plaque builds up along your gumline, it can cause an infection. Your gum tissues respond by becoming bright red and inflamed, which can make them bleed easily and feel tender. This is known as gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Thankfully, the tissues are not permanently impacted, and the damage can be reversed.
However, the same cannot be said for periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease. This develops when the infection spreads far enough to attack your jawbone. Left untreated, it can permanently damage your gums and destroy the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place, causing them to become loose and fall out!
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Thankfully, you can easily avoid all of this with a little bit of prevention. To stop gum disease before it can begin, you should:
- Brush your teeth and gums twice a day. A great dental routine is key for controlling the amount of plaque and bacteria that build up in your mouth. Regularly brushing protects your gums from becoming infected in the first place.
- Get into the habit of regular flossing. Did you know that a toothbrush can only clear out 60% of that harmful plaque? The only way to fully defend your gums is to clean out the other 40% with flossing.
- Use therapeutic mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste. These products contain compounds that effectively and thoroughly clean off your teeth and gums.
- Quit smoking. If you needed another reason to break this bad habit, here it is! Smoking weakens your immune system, which makes it more difficult for your body to fight off all types of infection, including gum disease.
- See your dentist every six months. Since gum disease isn’t initially very noticeable, it can be easy to miss. Your dentist can help you detect it as early as possible and offer specialized gum disease therapy before it causes irreversible harm.
Thankfully, even though gum disease is very common, you can easily prevent it. Use these simple tips to keep your smile happy and your gums healthy!
About the Practice
LIC Dental Associates provides excellent preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to the Long Island City, NY area. Our experienced team of dentists offers a comprehensive variety of specialty treatments. These include laser periodontal therapy and other services to prevent and reverse gum disease. If you’d like to know more, we can be contacted through our website or at (718) 530-6539.