Gum disease is an oral health issue that starts out mild but has the potential to progress into a very serious problem. In order to avoid developing serious gum disease, you need to make caring for your gums as much of a priority as caring for your teeth. There are a few basic steps you can follow to ensure that you deal effectively with gum disease so it does not leave you with permanent side effects such as tooth loss.
Learn how to identify the signs of gum disease
The signs of gum disease can be subtle in the beginning. They include gums that bleed when you brush or floss, swollen gums, painful gums, and gums that look more red than pink. The first sign that most people notice is bleeding while brushing or flossing. If you know how to identify the signs of gum disease you can take action as soon as you notice that your gums are bleeding, swollen, painful, or red.
Have the condition of your gums assessed by your doctor
During your routine dental visits twice per year the condition of your gums will be examined. If there are any signs of gum disease the dentist will let you know and recommend a course of action. You can also seek out help for gum disease between visits. If you are concerned about the condition of your gums, give your dentist a call. You can schedule an appointment to have the condition of your gums assessed and get recommendations for treatment.
Improve upon your daily oral care routine
The earliest stage of gum disease – gingivitis – can often be reversed by improving upon your daily oral care routine. For example, flossing is an important part of caring for the health of your gums. If you do not floss regularly it increases your risk of developing gum disease. Becoming more consistent with the habit of flossing can start to improve your symptoms and eventually reverse the gum disease completely.
Get professional help with advanced gum disease
The more advanced stage of gum disease – periodontitis – cannot be reversed by simply improving your oral care routine. Periodontitis requires the intervention of a dentist. At this stage, your gums can start receding and pulling away from your teeth. Periodontitis can cause serious and permanent consequences. If your gum disease has progressed beyond gingivitis and moved to periodontitis then it is time to get professional help. There are a number of procedures that your dentist can use to get your gums back to a healthy place.
Gum disease is a treatable problem as long as you are willing to take the necessary steps to deal with it. The best scenario is to catch and deal with gum disease in the earliest stage – gingivitis. If you catch gum disease early you can deal with it at home by improving your oral care routine. If you put off dealing with your gum disease and it progressed to periodontitis, there are still options for treatment. Your dentist can help you take the right steps for treating your gum disease and preventing it from returning.