What You Need to Know About Gum Disease

what you need to know about gum disease

Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? Not only that, but gum disease can put you at an increased risk for an array of illnesses. Since gum disease can be catastrophic to both your oral and overall health, it is important to learn more about what gum disease is, what it looks like, and how to prevent it from ruining your smile and health. This blog post will teach you what you need to know about gum disease so that it doesn’t harm your dental health!

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a dental condition that affects the gums and other surrounding tissues responsible for supporting your teeth. This disease can cause pain and discomfort in addition to compromising all of your dental health since it has been known to lead to tooth loss.

periodontitis

Types of gum disease

There are two main types of gum diseases:

– gingivitis

– periodontitis

Gingivitis is the very first stage of gum disease, and it’s characterized by red or swollen gums, gums that bleed while brushing or flossing, general gum inflammation, and swollen lymph nodes. As you may have noticed, gingivitis primarily affects the gums. This means that the effects of gingivitis can usually be reversed with treatment.

Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease, and it’s characterized by a loss in your bone support for your teeth as well as a thinning of dental tissues around those same teeth. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis also affects the supportive structures around the teeth such as the cementum, periodontal ligaments, and even the jawbone.  In addition to causing these structures to deteriorate, periodontitis can also cause bad breath, loose teeth due to receding gums, difficulty chewing, and dental pain.

Causes of gum disease

woman flossing teeth

The first step in preventing gum disease is to understand what causes gum disease. There are a number of causes for gum disease, but most cases can be prevented by practicing proper dental hygiene. This is because the primary cause of gum disease is  dental plaque, which is a thin film of bacteria that forms on the surfaces of your teeth. Regular dental hygiene helps to remove both plaque and bacteria to decrease the risk of developing gum disease.

Some tips for preventing gum disease include: 

  • flossing daily 
  • brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash 
  • visiting the dental office for regular checkups and teeth cleanings.
  • decreasing the amount of sugar consumed
  • drinking plenty of water to aid in saliva production
  • talking with your dentist about your individual risk
Photo of Dr. Admar

Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services, including emergency dentistry. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.

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