At Sullivan Family Dental in Westwood, KS, we provide preventive and periodontal care to prevent and treat gum disease. In this blog post, we talk about what causes gum disease, how you can prevent it, and early warning signs to watch out for at home.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, occurs when the soft tissues surrounding the teeth become inflamed, irritated, and/or infected. Its early stage, called gingivitis, is reversible with improved oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and routine cleanings. But its later stages, called periodontitis, cause loss of the tissues and bones that support your teeth.
Gum Disease Causes & Prevention
The main cause of gum disease is from plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth every single day when bacteria feast upon the sugars in your mouth. Plaque is removed with regular brushing and flossing. But inconsistent or improper brushing allows plaque to accumulate. The buildup irritates gums, causing them to eventually pull back from teeth. These pockets harbor bacteria and exacerbate the inflammation and irritation, resulting in infection. The longer plaque sits on your teeth, the more likely you are to develop dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay.
Gum disease is typically preventable with good oral health habits. This means brushing your teeth every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing your teeth at least once a day, avoiding tobacco products, consuming a balanced nutrient-dense diet, and drinking plenty of water. Additionally, visit Sullivan Family Dental for regular checkups and cleanings. At these appointments, our team will deep clean your teeth and check for any signs of gum disease or tooth decay.
Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Healthy gums are pink and pain-free. Have you noticed any of the following abnormal changes in your gums? Let us know!
Gums that are puffy, tender, and red could indicate early irritation from plaque.
Bleeding gums when you brush and floss are probably telling you they need to be flossed more often! Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and to floss at least once a day.
Constant bad breath isn’t normal either. Bad breath could indicate you have lots of plaque buildup from poor oral hygiene. However, it you also mean you have a different underlying condition that requires treatment, such as dry mouth or an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder.
Schedule Your Next Checkup!
If your gums don’t start looking and feeling better with improved oral hygiene in a few days, schedule an appointment at our Westwood dental office. We can evaluate your gum health and suggest treatment recommendations.