We put our mouths through a lot, whether it’s munching on snack foods, drinking acidic or staining beverages, forgetting to brush and floss, or smoking. In such a small place, and with an oral environment prone to bacteria and plaque buildup, your dental health can be made vulnerable. A particular threat that affects many adults is gingivitis, or the early stages of gum disease, which can lead to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.
In its more advanced stages, gum disease requires professional treatment from your dentist. But luckily, you can reverse the symptoms if they’re caught early enough. Learn more about how to recognize and address this small problem before it becomes large enough to seriously affect your oral health.
What Gum Disease Is
In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that nearly half of American adults have periodontal disease, which affects both the teeth and gums. It results from the buildup of bacteria in your mouth, called plaque. This condition may cause inflammation, infection, and eventually, tooth loss.
When attempting to reverse the effects of gum disease, it’s vital to catch it in its early stages. Always pay attention to the state of your teeth and gums. If you exhibit any of the following, you may be suffering from gingivitis:
- Loose teeth
- Tender, painful, or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Persistently bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
Its Long-Term Effects
Left unchecked, gingivitis can progress to more advanced stages of gum disease known as periodontitis. It can be a chronic condition that is both painful, inconvenient, and harmful to your lifelong dental health. You may require professional treatment to alleviate the symptoms and expensive permanent solutions, like dental implants or dentures, to replace the teeth you’ve lost and continue to live a full life.
How You Can Reverse It
You give yourself the best chance at stopping and preventing gum disease early on by adhering to healthy oral hygiene practices. This includes thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing each day. Make sure your tools, like your toothbrush, is in good shape. Drink plenty of water. If you smoke regularly, you may want to consider giving it up, as the habit makes you more prone to gum disease and slows your body’s healing factor.
Don’t wait to secure your dental health until it’s too late. If you notice the signs of gum disease in your mouth, take measures to reverse it before it has a chance to become a more persistent problem. Visit us at My Family Dentistry for your regular check-ups and to learn about how we treat some gum disease cases with Laser Periodontal Therapy™.