When you flip a coin, you have a 50-50 chance of getting heads or tails. If you are 30 years or older, those are about the same odds that you have gum disease. If you are 65 or older, you have a 7 in 10 chance of having periodontal problems.
Gum disease also is the leading contributor to tooth loss in the United States.
In other words, you need to take care of your gums if you want to keep your teeth. Fortunately, you have a team that wants to help right here in Bryan, TX.
Signs of Trouble
If you do develop a gum infection, it is much better to seek help in the early stages.
To make it clear, healthy gums feel firm, look pink, and do not bleed when you brush or floss. When you have gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease), you may notice bleeding when you are doing your daily oral care routine. Your gums may appear red and swollen as well.
Often, this is an indication that you may not be flossing as often as you should or you may not be flossing correctly. Improving your oral care habits may be just what you need to reverse this condition.
If your gum infection persists, you can develop periodontitis, which is advanced gum disease. This requires professional care, which you should seek if you notice these symptoms:
- Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away
- Tender or sore gums
- Pain while chewing
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Change in how your teeth fit together when you bite
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
- Loose teeth
For these kinds of infection, scaling and root planing is often necessary. You also may need a local antibiotic to kill off harmful bacteria that could lead to a reinfection.
Are You at Risk?
No two patients are alike, and some people are more prone to developing periodontal problems than others. Some risk factors are things you can control. Other factors are not controllable, but being aware of them can make you more aware of taking your gum health seriously.
These are factors that can increase your likelihood of gum health issues:
- Tobacco Use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Having diabetes
- Family history
- Having crooked teeth
- Defective dental fillings
- Dry mouth
- Poorly fitting dental restorations
- Being a female going through hormonal changes (e.g. puberty, pregnancy, or menopause)
It’s also worth pointing out that gum disease can affect your overall health as well. Periodontal problems can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and heart attacks among other health concerns. Taking care of your gums is about more than just your smile.
Be Nice to Your Gums
Do what you can to keep your gums as healthy as they can be. Brush and floss daily, and visit us for preventive care. Seek treatment as soon as you see signs of trouble.