If a magician asked you to pick a card, you would have a 1 in 52 chance of picking any particular card.
If you go to a taping of “The Price Is Right” game show, you have a 1 in 36 chance of getting called to play.
And if you have a mouth, then you have a 4 in 5 chance of developing gum disease. That’s according to the American Dental Hygienists Association.
And dental hygienists would know. They are the people who often clean your teeth.
Preventing and treating gum disease is important for your overall oral health, and it’s one of our priorities at Tulip Tree Dental Care.
If you do develop gum disease, we encourage you to visit our dentist office to get our nonsurgical treatments. Our dentist office is located in South Bend, IN, but we treat patients from Granger, Niles, and everywhere in between.
We think everyone understands that preventing gum disease is better than needing to treat it. Unfortunately, many people are not doing the things they should to prevent periodontal disease.
Last year, National Public Radio reported on a survey conducted by the American Dental Association. According to those results, only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day.
In other words, 60 percent of Americans are not following the ADA recommendations.
The ADA advises us to brush our teeth twice per day for two minutes each time. You need to scrub your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
And at least once per day, you should floss between your teeth and gums. Flossing is how you clean the parts of your mouth that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. If you ignore these areas, bacteria and plaque can build and that can lead to a gum infection.
It may go without saying, but you also need to visit our office a couple times each year for professional cleanings. We will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that you may have missed.
And if we find symptoms of gum disease, we can treat it for you.
Gum Disease Treatment
If your gum disease requires more than routine care, then we will give you what we consider a deep cleaning. This is done with a procedure called scaling and root planing.
During this procedure, we will clean below your gumline. Your dentist or hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up around the roots of your teeth.
If your gum disease has progressed too far, we may need to refer you to an oral surgeon, however. We both hope your gum disease never gets to this point.
Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease
How do you know if you have gum disease? What should you look for?
In the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, you may notice the following:
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
At this point, you still may be able to reverse your periodontal disease by improving your oral hygiene routine. (This is when following those ADA recommendations becomes particularly important.)
But let’s say you ignore these signs and your gingivitis turns into a more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis. What could happen then?
Your gums may bleed more easily than they did already.
Your gums can feel tender or sore.
Your gums may start to pull away from your teeth. This is called gum recession.
You may notice that you have a lingering bad taste in your mouth or constant bad breath.
Underneath your gumline, you may have pockets forming where plaque and tartar are growing.
And your teeth could start to feel loose.
Advanced gum disease can damage the bones that hold the roots of your teeth in place. As those bone get weaker, your teeth may start to shift and eventually they will fall out. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Stop Gum Problems Before They Begin
It only takes five minutes of your day to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice for two minutes at a time, and take a minute to floss every day.
Your teeth need your gums, and you need your teeth. If you have any concerns that you may have gum disease, then we encourage you to make an appointment at our South Bend, IN, dentist office.