What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gumline that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It's caused by bacteria in plaque buildup, which produces acids and other toxins that overtime can destroy gum tissue and bone. Fortunately, gum disease can easily be treated if diagnosed in early stages, which is why prevention through proper oral care habits and knowing the signs are so important.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
You may not even be aware that you have gum disease because there is often no pain. However, there are warning signs and you should consult with your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that pull away from teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
- Loose or separating teeth
Preventing Gum Disease
A proper oral hygiene regimen can certainly help keep your gums healthy, but sometimes that’s just not enough! Here are some additional tips to prevent periodontal disease, courtesy of our co-founder and practicing dentist, Pooneh Ram.
- Massage your gums in a gentle, circular motion with a soft bristle toothbrush. This helps to circulate blood in the gum tissues and reduce inflammation.
- Avoid use of any alcohol-based toothpaste and mouthwash. They can cause Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, and irritate the gums significantly.
- Incorporate vitamin C in your oral care routine. Direct application with a vitamin C infused toothpaste and mouthwash (like ours) ensures absorption of the nutrients directly into the gums.
- Do not brush with medium, hard or certain organic toothbrushes. The bristles can cause permanent gum recession that is painful and very expensive to treat.
Additional reading: The Link Between Gum Disease and Breast Cancer