Often, the health of your gums is overlooked until it’s too late. Therefore during National Gum Care Month in September, Dr. Janet K. Song is ready to shine a light on the importance of the foundations of your teeth — your gums. According to the ADA, almost half of adults over the age of 30 in the U.S. suffer from gum disease (better known as periodontal disease in the dental world), so it’s a very common disease that everyone needs to pay attention to.
The severity of gum disease can vary dramatically — from gingivitis, which can be reversed fairly easily to full-blown periodontitis, which in many cases can lead to tooth loss and in severe cases be a causal factor for developing diabetes or having a stroke — therefore it’s important to get treatment early.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Although gum disease can go undetectable as it doesn’t always display symptoms, it’s important to be aware of the common symptoms so you can take action as soon as possible if you come across any of the following: red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums. Other symptoms include receding gums, constant bad breath, and teeth that are loose or mobile.
How to Avoid Gum Disease
Avoiding gum disease isn’t complicated, but it does require some dedication to your oral hygiene. Dr. Song has summarized oral hygiene efforts into three steps to ensure your gums are strong and healthy enough to be the strong foundations that your teeth need.
1. Daily Oral Hygiene — Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day will help remove plaque before it hardens. This is crucial to your overall gum health. If you find yourself falling asleep on the couch and forgetting to brush your teeth regularly, make sure to brush them after you eat dinner while you still have energy!
2. Twice a Year Visits to Dr. Song and Dr. Tran — Some people only experience very mild symptoms or none at all, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to catch any issues early on before it becomes a larger problem down the road. Our team will professionally clean your teeth and remove any hardened plaque that normal brushing can’t reach. We can provide guidance on how best to brush and floss if you are having any issues with removing plaque on a daily basis.
3. Ditch the Bad Habits — By avoiding smoking or chewing tobacco, your chances of developing periodontal disease are decreased. Avoiding plaque-causing foods (such as sugar and starches) can also help improve your gum health.
Make an appointment with your favorite Fairfax dentist today so we can review your oral health and advise if gum disease is something you should be concerned with. We have treatment options to suit everyone and help improve your gum health. Dr. Song and the team look forward to welcoming you and answering any questions you have about your gum health.