Many people avoid brushing their gums because they can be especially sensitive. While pain is often a useful indicator, it can also serve as a warning sign. In the case of your gums, pain is often a sign of inflammation and swelling, which when left untreated can lead to a broad range of complications, including periodontal diseases.
At Campbell Family Dentistry, we strongly encourage patients to understand the importance of taking good care of their gums, as well as the implications that come with poor gum health. Learn more about periodontal disease and prevention before calling our Roseburg office.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal is a tricky word, but when you break it down, it’s really just a word to describe the area around your teeth. When this area is neglected, plaque begins to build up between the teeth and down near the gums. And with plaque comes a slew of dangerous bacteria that have the potential to manifest into infection and disease.
Over time the bacteria resting near your gums can fester underneath the gumline, causing swelling, irritation, and eventually periodontal disease. The mildest form of the disease is gingivitis, the signs of which include swollen, sensitive gums that might bleed when brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can then evolve into full-fledged periodontitis, which can entail gumline recession, tooth loss, and in some cases gum necrosis. In its most extreme cases, periodontitis has been known to extend systemically to endanger the heart and respiratory systems.
How Can We Prevent Periodontal Disease?
With the dangers of periodontal disease in mind, there are some surefire ways to keep your gums healthy. First, it’s important to brush consistently (at least twice daily), and to brush the gums thoroughly. If there is mild pain while brushing the gums, chances are there could already be some bacteria underneath the gumline.
In addition to brushing thoroughly, make sure to floss once per day to clear out the area between teeth. The toothbrush is a powerful tool, but it can’t reach everywhere.
Other factors that can increase your chances for periodontal disease are:
- Crowded teeth can make it harder to brush certain parts of your gumline, resulting in greater potential for plaque growth.
- Smoking can increase your chances for periodontal infection and disease.
- Some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. Ask your dentist if you are at an increased risk for gum disease.
Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned!
In addition to the above steps, remember to have your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months. Come and see Campbell Family Dentistry, your Roseburg dentist, for a consultation. Call us today at 541-672-4732. You can also contact us here.