Did you know that nearly two thirds of adults will end up with some degree of gum disease in their lives? That means the odds aren’t exactly in your favor, but does it mean that you simply need to accept the risks? Not at all!
At Precise Dental Of Houston we want to take the time to participate in the American Dental Association’s gum disease awareness month by telling you all about gum disease. From the risks to the preventive steps to take we’re going to cover it all!
Just What Is Gum Disease, Really?
It’s a pretty vague name, gum disease. In reality it’s a condition caused by oral bacteria getting below your gumline and causing infection. Our mouths are filled with oral bacteria, and all of us have to constantly fight it to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. It’s an uphill battle to keep oral bacteria in check, and even the slightest slip can lead to the beginnings of gum disease.
Your body fights infection through inflammation, which usually works great around cuts, bruises, and other injuries. Your gums, unfortunately, don’t get enough benefit to really heal. The inflammation continues, causing redness, swelling, bleeding, and gum recession.
Without treatment at this early stage you can end up with serious gum disease, which is called periodontitis. At this stage it’s likely that you’ll lose teeth because of the severe damage to your gums. Because they’re so essential to stabilizing your teeth, the loss of gum tissue leads to bite changes, teeth loosening, and finally loss.
Am I At Risk?
Everyone is at risk for gum disease, but there are a few lifestyle choices and health conditions that increase your chances of ending up with it. Some of these are completely under your control while others aren’t, unfortunately.
You may be more likely to experience gum disease if you:
These are just some of the risk factors for gum disease, and it’s often the case that patients who don’t fall under any of these categories still end up with the condition – two thirds of people will have it!
Preventing Gum Disease
We are able to treat your gum disease at our Houston office, but there’s something better than a cure: prevention! After all, they say an ounce of it is worth more than a pound of cure – and that will reflect in your bank account as well!
Preventing gum disease can be incredibly cheap compared to the alternatives. As you may have noticed in the list above there are quite a few things that can be controlled, and we’ve broken them into three categories.
Changing your lifestyle includes things like quitting tobacco, cutting back on alcohol, and eating a healthier diet. All of these things will contribute to better oral health and better overall health – what’s not to love? Smoking and alcohol use are also significant contributors to your oral cancer risks. Oral cancer has one of the highest five-year mortality rates, so quitting smoking and drinking can have many benefits!
Getting better about oral healthcare at home is essential. After you clean up your lifestyle you have to do a lot to keep your teeth healthy. It’s essential that you’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time AND flossing every night. We know flossing is a hassle, but it’s an essential part of maintaining a healthy mouth. It’s just as important as brushing when it comes to making your teeth last!
Seeing us at Precise Dental Of Houston every six months for exams and cleanings is the last essential piece of the puzzle. You could be a gold medal winner in brushing and flossing and we can guarantee you there are spots you won’t be able to get. A professional cleaning will set you up for success and an exam will help us identify and treat problems long before they become serious risks.
Start Fresh, Make An Appointment Today!
No matter how long it’s been since you’ve been to see the dentist we can still help you get a fresh start on preventing gum disease. An appointment today could save time and money later – there’s nothing to lose!