Most people think of beautiful teeth when they think of healthy smiles. But did you know that your gums are just as important to the look and health of your smile? Maintaining healthy gum tissue throughout life requires regular preventive care, a healthy diet, and prompt treatment if issues do arise. Unfortunately, a majority of people in America will develop gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, during adulthood. If you want to prevent or reverse gum problems, it’s important to understand the importance of periodontal care and how you can use it to maintain a great smile!
What Is Gum Disease and How Can You Recognize It?
Gum disease is also called periodontal disease, and it is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America. As gums become infected and inflamed, teeth can begin to loosen, until eventually they fall out. Other common problems associated with periodontal problems are bleeding gums and chronic bad breath.
Some of the earliest warning signs of gum disease are inflamed, red or easily bleeding gums. Many people don’t realize that healthy gums should be light pink in color, and they should not bleed, even during brushing or flossing.
Visible plaque buildup can be another warning sign that you either have or may soon develop gum disease, as plaque is a leading cause of gum disease, as well as cavities.
Ways to Treat and Prevent Gum Problems
To reverse gum disease, periodontal therapy is generally required. In some cases, especially if it is detected early, prompt removal of plaque buildup may be enough to reverse the symptoms. However, often ultrasonic scaling, a deep cleaning technique, is necessary to restore the gums’ health.
One way you can prevent problems is by brushing and flossing daily. Many people don’t realize flossing is just as important as brushing, not a supplemental or optional step in a daily hygiene routine. Regular professional cleanings are also crucial, particularly since only a professional cleaning can remove plaque buildup once it has calcified onto the teeth. So don’t neglect biannual checkups.