Have you ever been brushing your teeth only to find a bit of blood in the sink after your rinse and spit? It could be a sign of gum disease. You’re not alone in having this condition. About half of all adults in the U.S. will be affected at some point. However, just because gum disease is common doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Keep reading as a dentist in Canton, GA explains all about gum disease and how to prevent it.
How Gum Disease Develops
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue that is typically caused by poor oral hygiene. When you go without regular brushing or flossing, bacteria in the form of plaque, a sticky film, build up on your teeth and gums. These bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that result in them bleeding easily. When left untreated, bacteria can create pockets in between the teeth and the structures that support them. Your teeth may start to feel loose and can even fall out. This is why it’s important to get gum disease treated before it reaches this stage.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Tell your dentist right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Teeth that feel loose
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Extremely sensitive teeth
How to Prevent Gum Disease
There are a few things you can do to prevent needing gum disease therapy, including:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for 2 minutes at a time, with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss every day to remove plaque from between your teeth.
- Using mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing has been shown to reduce plaque by up to 20 percent.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Get plenty of vitamins, in particular vitamins A and C, to promote gum health.
- Visit your dentist in Canton twice a year for a professional cleaning to get rid of built up plaque and diagnose any early signs of gum disease.
We might joke about gums bleeding when we floss, but the truth is that’s no laughing matter. If you are going through any of the signs listed above, be sure to tell your dentist as soon as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Katherine Lee earned her dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 2003. She then opened Dentistry at Hickory Flat where she gets to work with her husband, Dr. Brian Lee. She has taken multiple continuing education courses in laser-assisted dentistry for the treatment of gum disease. To learn more about how to prevent gum disease, contact Dr. Lee at (770)-213-8166.