How to Spot and Prevent Gum Disease
Gingivitis, commonly known as gum disease, can be incredibly harmful to your oral health if you do not monitor it effectively. The long term effects of gum disease can impact your life in more ways than you initially might realize, so you’ll want to ensure that you keep on top of the early symptoms.
Spot and Prevent Gum Disease
Initial signs can be hit and miss at first; you may notice a little blood when you brush your teeth occasionally or you may notice that your gums sometimes feel a little sore especially after eating certain types of food.
Don’t dismiss these seemingly minor symptoms out of hand because, as dental professionals such as those at Holly House Dental Clinic can confirm, what starts out as an occasional mild annoyance can turn into something much more serious.
The Causes and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Aside from seeing blood in the sink or on your toothbrush after brushing your teeth, there are other signs to watch out for which indicate that all is not well:
- Teeth become more sensitive to spicy foods and cold drinks – sensitivity in teeth could indicate receding gums
- Chewing food becomes painful
- Gums start to appear very red and sore
- Gums appear swollen
- Loose teeth
It is vital at the first sign of any of these symptoms to visit your dentist as soon as possible to get early treatment and stop gum disease before it becomes a real problem.
The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t properly look after your teeth then the sugars and acids in food combine with naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth to form plaque on the teeth.
It is essential that you brush teeth twice a day and floss regularly to remove any particles of food that get trapped between the teeth and around the gumline to prevent plaque from occurring.
Gum disease can sometimes occur as a result of taking certain medications or it can be genetic; if a parent suffered from gum disease it’s possible that you could too.
Lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking alcohol, or hormonal changes can all contribute towards the development of gum disease.
How You Can Avoid Gum Disease
By far the easiest way to avoid developing gum disease in the first place is to follow a good oral hygiene routine. Make a friend of your dentist with regular check-ups so that they can spot any issues that may be occurring with your teeth and gums and treat these to prevent problems further down the line. Your dentist can offer advice on how to look after your teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
Change your toothbrush regularly to prevent a build-up of bacteria; when the bristles start to look flattened that’s the time to change it. Invest in some interdental or interspace brushes to clean the gaps between your teeth as this is where bacteria can lurk.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, one which includes lots of leafy green vegetables and foods rich in vitamin C and calcium goes a long way towards maintaining good overall health as well as good oral health.
Avoid too much of the food and drink which can damage and stain teeth such as tea, coffee, sugary sweets and red wine. Stop smoking to improve overall health and prevent tooth staining and bad breath.
If your teeth have become stained, damaged or misaligned through receding gums or if you have missing teeth, veneers are an option to replace unhealthy teeth with those that are durable and more aesthetically pleasing.
See your dentist for advice and treatment before that small problem develops into gum disease and irreversible tooth loss.