How Gum Disease Is Prevented
Gum disease is the second most common dental problem, which is caused by plaque buildup along or under the gum line (gingival margin). Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that forms on the teeth. It can lead to painful infections, gum diseases, and tooth decay. Additionally, it can also cause gingivitis, which is an early stage of gum disease.
Furthermore, in case of gingivitis, the gums become inflamed, red, swollen, tender, and bleed easily. However, the damage is reversible because it does not impact the tissue and alveolar bone, which hold the teeth in place. Patients also develop periodontitis. It is an advanced form and impacts the alveolar bones. If left untreated, it can damage the gums and tissues. In addition, it can also cause mobility of the teeth, which is the advanced stage of periodontitis where the alveolar bone is destroyed, leading to extractions.
Most Common Gum Diseases
Gingivitis is the most common gum disease and affects 50% of the population in the United States. The gums become inflamed, swollen and red. Whereas healthy gums are coral pink and do not bleed on probing.
The second most common gum disease is Periodontitis, and it affects 20% of the global population adults. The symptoms are like gingivitis but a loss in gum tissue and jawbone is seen, which are irreversible. Moreover, periodontitis is asymptomatic and does not show symptoms till the later stages.
Gum recession is also a very common gum problem in adults, in which the cementum becomes exposed. Gum recession is also seen, where the gum detaches from its attachment. The causes of gum recession are bruxism, chewing tobacco, aggressive brushing, orthodontic treatment, and trauma.
Symptoms of Gum Diseases
The American Dental Association says the following signs are present in people who have gum diseases
Constant bad breath and taste
Mobility in the teeth
However, if taken care of properly, gum diseases are preventable. The following are some of the tips that can help
Flossing everyday at least once is a must. It helps in removing plaque that accumulates in the interdental spaces, which further develops into calculus. Moreover, toothbrushes do not clean
interdentally, hence using a floss is needed to clean the debris that’s unreachable.
Scaling and Polishing
A regular dental checkup can prevent multiple dental problems from getting worse. For example, getting professional scaling done every six months can keep your mouth clean and healthy. Moreover, seeing your dentist regularly helps in reversing gingivitis or any other gum disease to some extent.
Smoking is associated with the onset of gum diseases because it weakens the immune system. Moreover, smoking also makes it difficult for the gums to heal after they are damaged.
Brush your Teeth Twice a Day
People should brush their teeth after every meal to prevent plaque buildup. Moreover, scrub the tongue as well, to prevent the debris from harboring on its surface.
I personally recommended that people should use soft bristle toothbrushes because it does not damage the surface of the teeth (enamel), which is very common with rigorous brushing. I do not recommend using Medium tooth brushes as they cause gum recession. Moreover, electrical toothbrushes can help reduce plaque in a better manner compared to manual toothbrushes. However, change the toothbrush head every three to four months or when the bristles start fraying.
Arrange regular dental checkups to ensure early detection
If you have gum disease, it’s important to take care of your oral health. Regular dental checkups can help ensure early detection and treatment of the infection. A dentist will be able to detect gum disease early on, which means they can treat it before it becomes more dangerous or painful.
The dentist may also be able to recommend a good toothpaste for you if you have sensitive teeth or gums that don’t like certain types of toothpastes (such as those with mint or cinnamon flavor).
As you can see, there are many ways to prevent gum disease. These simple actions include brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing, using antiseptic mouthwash, arranging regular dental checkups and maintaining healthy habits for overall good oral health. One of the most important things we can do is make sure we have regular visits with our dentist and take care of any problems before they become serious.
Oliver, Richard C., L. Jackson Brown, and Harald Löe. “Periodontal diseases in the United States population.” Journal of periodontology 69.2 (1998): 269-278.
Nazir, Muhammad Ashraf. “Prevalence of periodontal disease, its association with systemic diseases and prevention.” International journal of health sciences 11.2 (2017): 72.