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woman with healthy gums

Gum Care Awareness Month

woman with healthy gums

September Is Gum Care Awareness Month

However, if you want to live a long and healthy life, it’s best to transform it into a gum care awareness year. Healthy gums are essential to a healthy body, and a healthy body is essential to longevity, so continue reading for tips on maintaining healthy gums.

Many people don’t realize the importance of their gum health to their overall health, but the two are interdependent. You can’t have good physical health if you don’t have good gum health, and there’s a proven scientific reason for this. The tissues and membranes in your mouth are very thin and permeable, so anything that’s in your mouth will be transported throughout the body, courtesy of your bloodstream.

Statistics have proven a direct correlation between gum disease and such serious health conditions as:

  1. Cancer
  2. Cardiovascular Disease
  3. Dementia
  4. Diabetes
  5. Hypertension
  6. Stroke

Statistically, gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss in those who are 35 and older.

What’s the Best Way to Have Good Gum Health?

 The procedures for ensuring you have good gum health are similar to those for ensuring your teeth are healthy. The ADA recommends that you brush and floss at least twice each day, and brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Use an antibacterial mouthwash, and get regular dental checkups and cleanings. Be sure to:

  • Use a good-quality toothbrush that’s the appropriate size for your mouth
  • Use good-quality toothpaste
  • Floss with traditional dental floss, a floss pick, or a flosser
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily, either regular or alcohol-free
  • Make sure all your dental products carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance
  • Schedule annual checkups and cleanings at a minimum. Bi-annual dental visits are better.

Even though you may have an excellent oral hygiene routine, things happen, and your dentist may spot anomalies before you’re aware of them. We recommend that everyone over 18 get an oral cancer screening to ensure they have the best gum health possible.

How Does Gum Disease Start?

 Rarely does gum disease present asymptomatically. It usually starts as minor bleeding during brushing or flossing, and you may pass it off as inconsequential. However, it may indicate the presence of gingivitis, so don’t ignore it. Make a dental appointment without delay since gingivitis can be cured if it’s caught early, and any damage can be reversed. However, if you delay until it becomes periodontal disease, you’ll have incurred permanent damage to your gums, teeth, and facial structure.

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, you may be developing gingivitis and should make a dental appointment without delay:

  1. Bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
  2. Eroding gums
  3. Inflamed or swollen areas on your gums
  4. Infection or pus between your teeth
  5. Loosened teeth or odd gaps between your teeth
  6. Minor bleeding when you brush or floss
  7. Swollen, red, or sensitive gums

 Any of these can indicate the presence of gum disease, so don’t ignore them no matter how minor they may seem.

What’s The Treatment For Gum Disease?

When gum disease is detected and treated in its early stage of gingivitis, the treatment is simple, and any damage can be reversed. However, if you wait until the disease has progressed to periodontal disease, the treatments are more invasive, expensive, and of longer duration.

What Are The Stages Of Gum Disease?

Gum disease has three stages as follows:

  1. Gingivitis: The first stage is gingivitis and typically occurs due to a buildup of tartar, which is a very hard substance that inflames your gums. At this stage, gum disease can be cured, and any damage can be reversed. If you notice minor bleeding during your oral hygiene regimen, you probably have gingivitis. Since it’s easily cured at this point, seek prompt dental treatment, and ask your dentist for tips on preventing its recurrence.
  2. Periodontitis: The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis and occurs because tartar isn’t removed. Periodontitis does permanent damage to your gums and jaw and can’t be cured. Damage can only be repaired. It can’t be reversed. Treatments for periodontitis include antibiotics, scaling, and root planing, but they’ll only halt the progression of the disease. Although you can restore functionality to a point, you’ll need reconstructive dentistry or oral surgery to regain the full use of your teeth and gums. Even if you’re in the periodontitis stage, you should address it promptly so it doesn’t become advanced periodontitis.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis: The third and final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. If your gum disease has progressed to this point, you’ll have incurred irreparable damage to your jawbone, your facial structure, and the ligaments that secure your teeth. Most or all of your teeth will have fallen out, and your facial structure may appear to have melted. Reconstructive dentistry and oral surgery are the only solutions for restoring functionality and structural aesthetics to your gums and teeth. Your surgical options may include bone grafts and other expensive and invasive procedures to restore functionality and structural integrity to your face and jaw.

It’s unfortunate that all these problems can be prevented by good oral hygiene, but that’s the fact.

Do You Need A Dental Appointment?

 If it has been a while since you’ve seen a dentist or if you need to schedule your annual appointment or need to be screened for oral cancer, then call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania at , and we can help you. Your dentist is your best ally in maintaining good oral health and, by extension, good physical health, so don’t ignore your gums and teeth. Don’t risk the onset of serious diseases such as cancer or heart disease by ignoring the warning signs your mouth sends.

Our Philadelphia dentists are among the best in the area for preventive dentistry, and they’ll be invaluable in your efforts to maintain good oral health and a beautiful smile.

Call today to schedule an appointment. You’ll be glad you made the call.

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