September is National Gum Care Month: Keep your gum healthy!
Let us begin with a staggering statistic. As many as 64 million US adults are known to suffer from periodontal disease annually! This September, which is the National Gum Care Month, let us look closely at what does gum disease entails & importantly what you can do to stem it.
Types of gum disease
Broadly gum disease can be classified into 2 types. There is Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, which is reversible and then there is Periodontitis, which if left untreated can lead to loss of teeth.
Gum disease typically begins with the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film that forms on your teeth. If plaque is allowed to accumulate, it inflames your gums. This early stage is known as Gingivitis. Once the plaque hardens into what is known as tartar, the gums become further inflamed, and eventually, loose pockets are formed. With bacteria and tartar accumulating in these pockets not just the gums but also the bone and ligaments are destroyed. Eventually, it leads to loss of teeth. Statistics show that an average person within the age group of 20-39 has 1 tooth missing, while this number jumps to 8 for the average 60+ person. This number does not include wisdom teeth, which may have been pulled out for several reasons.
Periodontitis can also take the form of aggressive as well as chronic periodontitis. Here are the symptoms of each:
1. Aggressive Periodontitis
It is marked by rapid gum recession. It is typically caused due to depletion of vitamins and is therefore increasingly seen in the growth phase of young people.
2. Chronic Periodontitis
On the other hand, chronic periodontitis is marked by rapid progression followed by periods of remission.
Impact of Gum Disease
Gum disease affects not just your oral health but also has a wide range of general health ramifications. Here are a few:
1. Aesthetic & Functional
To start with, of course, gum disease has an aesthetic fallout. Gum disease & the eventual loss of teeth affect that beautiful smile and leaves you looking that much less aesthetically pleasing. Of course, besides affecting your look, loss of teeth also leaves you struggling with chewing food & even talking.
2. General health issues related to gum disease
Gum disease also has a far-reaching impact on your overall health, a fact that is often overlooked. The bacteria that accumulate in your mouth can through the bloodstream make their way to several other organs. Some of the known fallouts of this include:
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory disease
- Early births
- Certain autoimmune conditions, and more.
There is no doubt about the fact that your overall health is intrinsically tied to your oral health and that is why you should go for gum diseases treatment.
Symptoms of gum disease
Gum disease manifests itself by way of several symptoms. The sooner you catch them and ensure that the requisite treatment is made available, the less its fallouts are. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen, tender gums
- Pain in chewing
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Uneven Bite
How to keep your gums healthy?
Who does not want pink, healthy gums that do not bleed? All you need to do to maintain your gums in this state is to follow the right oral hygiene. Some of the aspects to be mindful of include:
- Brushing your teeth twice every day. Ensure that you use fluoride toothpaste & a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is important to replace your toothbrush frequently as frayed bristles do not do the job well.
- It is important to floss your teeth daily.
- The use of anti-bacterial mouthwash is imperative.
- Sipping water through the day or chewing on sugarless gum is a wonderful way to ensure your mouth is not dry as dry mouth is a breeding place for bacteria.
- Ensure that you get your teeth cleaned every 6 months.
- Regular dental checkups are mandatory so that any issues can be dealt with early on.
- The consumption of tobacco needs to be avoided.
- Avoid vaping.
- Keep your sugar levels under check as among other things, high sugar levels can also increase the risk of gum disease.
- Eat healthily and build up your body’s immune system. Eating citrus fruits & leafy green vegetables is necessary. Omega 3 fatty acids (found in flaxseed oil & fish) also help to boost overall gum health.
- Drink enough water.
To sum up
Good oral care is important all-round the year. However, if you have not paid sufficient attention to it, September is a good time to start! Follow the tips to keep your gums healthy and schedule a visit with your dentist! Especially if you have been experiencing bleeding gums you need to ensure that you start treatment early so that you do not have to grapple with tooth loss.
Remember that good oral health is the key to looking good, feeling confident, and importantly to your overall health. Get in touch with us at email@example.com or call us at (925) 846-4491.