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
1. How can I prevent gum disease naturally?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the easiest ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and using mouthwash before bed can help you maintain better dental health, but remember, mouthwash can burn, too.
2. Does gum disease go away?
It is possible to reverse gum disease, but only if it is treated as soon as possible. According to a recent poll, nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from gum disease. You should begin treatment as soon as possible if you have gum disease in order to prevent the condition from worsening.
3. Is gum disease common?
It has been estimated that 35% of the population has gum disease, and that this figure can be as high as 80% in adults with diabetes.
Gum disease is an oral infection that is caused by germs in the mouth, and it can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other problems. The bacteria that cause gum disease are spread through contact with saliva.
4. How do you strengthen weak gums?
You can keep your gums healthy and strong by regularly cleaning your mouth with therapeutic mouthwash. Using a rinse aid on a daily basis can help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth and in the dentogingival pockets. Additionally, rinsing protects the oral cavity from bacteria.
5. How do you know if your gums are unhealthy?
A healthy set of gums will be firm and pink in color. Redness and swelling of the gums, bleeding gums when you brush or floss, and gums that seem to be pulling away from the teeth are all signs of unhealthy gums.