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Gum Care Awareness Month

woman with healthy gums

 Healthier Gums Mean a Healthier Body

September is Gum Care Awareness Month, although many people are unaware of the fact. Taking your gum health for granted is one of the easiest and quickest ways to develop gum disease, so don’t do that unless you want to lose all your teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults who are 35 and older, and a smile that’s missing teeth will adversely impact your self-confidence and self-esteem.

We’re waiting to meet you! Call our Baltimore office today to schedule your appointment for a gum health check. 

 What Should I Do for My Gum Health in Baltimore?

 Maintaining healthy gums is as simple as brushing and flossing at least twice daily and getting dental checkups at least annually, if not more frequently. When you remove bacteria from your gums and teeth by flossing and brushing, then your gums will remain healthier, and you’ll be less likely to develop gum disease.

The American Dental Association recommends that you brush and floss at least twice daily, but preferably after every meal or snack. This removes the bacteria that cause the onset of plaque and inflammation, which causes gingivitis the first stage of gum disease.

You don’t need any special equipment or tests to maintain good oral hygiene. All you need is the following:

  • A quality, soft-bristled toothbrush that’s appropriately sized for your mouth
  • Quality toothpaste
  • Dental floss, which can be either traditional dental floss, a floss pick, or a flosser
  • An antibacterial mouthwash, either regular or alcohol-free

 All your dental products should carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re using a quality product, and schedule annual checkups and cleanings at a minimum. Bi-annual dental visits are better.

 Are There Signs of Gum Disease You Should Know?

 Gum disease seldom presents without symptoms, although sometimes the symptoms are mild. If you notice some bleeding when you brush or floss, then you may have gingivitis or another dental issue, so you should call your dentist for an appointment. The seven most common symptoms of gum disease are:

  1. Bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
  2. Receding gums
  3. Inflamed or swollen areas on your gums
  4. Infection or pus between your teeth
  5. Loose teeth or unusual spaces between your teeth
  6. Minor bleeding when you brush or floss
  7. Swollen, red, or sensitive gums

 Any of the above usually indicates a problem that should receive immediate dental attention.

When you detect gum disease in its early stage of gingivitis, it can be cured, and any damage can be reversed. However, if you ignore the signs of gingivitis, then the disease can escalate to a more serious stage that will inflict permanent and irreparable damage on your gums, teeth, and facial structure.

Think you have gingivitis? Call today for an appointment with one of our skilled dentists! 

How Do the Stages of Gum Disease Progress?

 Gum disease has three stages, but only the first one – gingivitis – can be cured and the damage reversed. The three stages of gum disease are:

  1. Gingivitis: The initial stage of gingivitis occurs due to poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing and flossing well or at all. This results in a tartar buildup. Tartar is a very hard substance that inflames your gums. At this stage, gum disease can be cured, and any damage can be reversed. However, if you don’t address gingivitis before it escalates, you’ll have done permanent and irreparable damage. If you notice minor bleeding during your oral hygiene regimen, you probably have gingivitis, so address it promptly with your dentist so that it doesn’t escalate. Be sure to ask your dentist for tips on preventing its recurrence.
  2. Periodontitis: The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis, and it’s the result of not addressing gingivitis when it appeared. Periodontitis permanently damages your gums and jaw, and the disease can’t be cured. Damage can be repaired, but it can’t be reversed. Treatments for periodontitis include antibiotics, scaling, and root planing to restore functionality to a point. However, you’ll need reconstructive dentistry or oral surgery to regain the full function of your teeth and gums. Even if your gum disease has escalated to periodontitis, you shouldn’t ignore it. The third and final stage of gum disease is severe and will adversely impact you for the rest of your life.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis: Advanced periodontitis is the third and final stage of gum disease, and by this point, you’ll have lost many or all of your teeth. Your face may look like it has melted, and your jawbone and tissues will have been destroyed. Expensive and invasive reconstructive dentistry and oral surgery are the only solutions for restoring functionality and structural aesthetics to your gums and teeth at this point. Although you can surgically restore function, it will be time-consuming and painful. The better option by far is to adopt good oral hygiene habits first so that you don’t get to the final stage of gum disease.

Tragically, many adults ignore their gum health until they get to the stage of advanced periodontitis. Don’t be among them. Start today to take better care of your gums and teeth so that you retain your natural teeth and your healthy gums for the rest of your life.

In addition to causing you to lose all your teeth, gum disease has been linked to the incidence of several severe diseases, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

 This happens because the membranes and tissues in your mouth are very thin and porous, so the bloodstream carries the bacteria and inflammation throughout your body and to your major organs.

We recommend that all those who are 18 or older get an oral cancer screening during their dental exam. The screening isn’t painful or invasive; your dentist will screen during your exam, but the incidence of oral cancer is rising quickly. It usually occurs without symptoms, so schedule a screening today.

 Need to Schedule a Dental Appointment?

 If you need to schedule a dental appointment, then call Dental One Associates of Maryland at , and we can help you. Our Baltimore dentists are among the best in the area for preventative dentistry, and we can help you maintain the best oral health possible.

Call us today. We look forward to speaking with you and working with you.

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