Gum disease (more formally known as periodontal disease) is one of the most common dental health concerns for adults. Yet, despite how common it is, periodontal disease is highly preventable with consistently good hygiene and preventive dental care. Unfortunately, many people develop periodontal disease simply because they don’t realize that their hygiene routine has failed, or because they don’t recognize the signs when early gum disease (gingivitis) develops. Fortunately, understanding the specifics of periodontal disease can significantly increase your chances of protecting your smile from its potentially hazardous consequences.
As the name suggests, gum disease affects the soft tissues (gums) that surround the roots of your teeth. Caused by excessive oral bacteria gathering along your gum line, gum disease begins as a minor infection known as gingivitis. As it develops, your gums will become red, angry-looking, and more inflamed as time passes. Bleeding gums are also a common indication of gingivitis, and can warn you that periodontal disease is imminent if you don’t seek treatment immediately.
When gum disease fully develops, the inflammation and bleeding is only a sign of what’s happening. As the disease grows more severe, it can destroy your gums and the periodontal tissues that support your teeth roots. Severe periodontal disease can also erode the jawbone structure underneath your gums, which can lead to tooth loss or the need for tooth extraction.
The best way to protect your smile from gum disease is to prevent it by preventing excessive oral bacteria buildup. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once, paying special attention to your gum line. It also means attending checkup and cleaning appointments at least once every six months. If gingivitis does develop, then your next best option is to treat it as soon as possible, before it can fully develop into gum disease.
Protect Your Smile from Periodontal Disease
The more you know about periodontal disease, the better you’ll be able to protect your smile from it! To learn more about preventing and treating periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.