Almost half of adults in the United States aged 30 years and above have one or more forms of gum disease. Gum disease is an unpleasant condition that could play a significant role even in conditions that are not related to the mouth.
For instance, a history of gum disease has been linked to certain health problems such as Alzheimer’s, heart diseases, respiratory problems, and even cancers. Obviously, finding the right gum disease treatment is a priority for maintaining healthy teeth and overall health.
Knowing the hard truth and the ability to separate the facts from the myths is also a good starting point for good oral health and overall well-being.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease refers to infections that affect the gum, and sometimes the bone that holds the tooth in its position. It is usually a consequence of a bacterial infection and can affect one or more teeth. It can manifest as simple gum irritation and eventually severe infection.
When it manifests as an irritation it is usually referred to as gingivitis. But when it manifests as a severe infection it is referred to as periodontitis.
Redness and swelling around the gum area are typical clinical characteristics of gingivitis and can easily be managed with dental cleanings by a dental professional.
Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that can include receding gums and even the development of pockets between the teeth and the gums.
What Are the Hard Truths?
It Is a Silent Disease
Almost everyone knows about gum disease. But gum disease is often overlooked by most people until it starts manifesting into serious health consequences.
The earlier stages are not noticeable, and by the time it becomes noticeable, one or more health concerns may have sprung up. For instance, untreated gum disease has been linked to heart diseases such as stroke, diabetes, cancers, and even osteoporosis.
Hence, keeping the health of your gums in shape is very important to your well-being.
It Is Contagious
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection that can be transmitted from person to person. For instance, the bacteria can be spread through saliva. Sharing items such as cups and spoons with a person who has gingivitis can also lead to transmission of gingivitis or periodontitis gum disease.
It Causes Bad Breath
Bad breath is usually one of the warning signs of gum disease. No matter how hard you brush your teeth, bad breath still doesn’t go away just because you may have gum disease. When bacteria in plaque and tartar invade the gum, it gets inflamed.
Bacteria action within the gums produces a certain sulfur compound as a consequence of gum inflammation. The sulfur compound produces the characteristics of bad breath odor. Treatment of gingivitis requires professional cleanings by a dental hygienist.
It Can Affect Anybody Regardless of Age
Although gum disease is common in older people, it can affect anyone regardless of age. Children usually come down with gingivitis which is a milder form of gum disease. But if left untreated, it can lead to cavities and eventual tooth loss. Limiting sugar intake and candy consumption in children is a step towards maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent gingivitis.
Gum Disease Can Cause Tooth Loss
The jaw bone keeps each tooth secure in its socket. When the gum tissue gets invaded due to gum disease, the bone loses its grip on the gum tissue, and the teeth lose their support.
No wonder periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Hence, treating gum disease prevents a number of many dental problems such as tooth loss and even cavities.
Tips To Prevent Gum Disease
Many people aren’t aware that they have gum disease until it is too late. But despite that, gum disease can still be prevented. Here are a few professional tips that can help you prevent gum disease.
- Practice good oral hygiene. As obvious as this may seem, good oral hygiene is beyond brushing. Flossing and routine use of antibacterial mouthwash is equally important too. When you brush, do so with a fluoride-based toothpaste at least twice daily and floss in between your teeth regularly.
- Avoid food and drinks that can initiate gum diseases. Limit sugars and alcohol. These agents encourage bacterial growth which can lead to plaque and tartar build-up and eventually gum disease.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Since gum disease is a silent condition. It is pertinent to regularly visit the dentist so they can spot early warning signs of gum diseases.