September is National Gum Care Month! When we talk about oral health, we mainly focus on our teeth—but our gums are equally as important! 47of % of U.S. adults have periodontal (gum) disease (kids can get it too). Visit your dentist to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy and clean. Gum disease can be uncomfortable and unpleasant and linked to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and even cancer. Patients with periodontal disease constantly breathe in bacteria from decayed teeth and infected gums, and over time this can lead to respiratory tract infections. If you are not taking proper care of your gums, now is a great time to start!
What Causes Gum Disease?
Do you know why gum health is important and how can you care for your periodontal health? If the plaque from your teeth is not removed regularly, it can become tartar, a hard substance that can only be removed by a professional cleaning. A buildup of plaque and tartar can cause inflammation in the gums, which may become red and swollen and may bleed easily. One common form of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gum disease that goes untreated can become more serious. With periodontitis, gums may pull away from the teeth, allowing bacteria to proliferate below the gum line and eat away at connective tissue and bone.
Why Should I Keep My Gums Healthy?
Gum disease can affect much more than just your mouth. Studies have shown that people with unhealthy gums may also exhibit a range of other problems, including:
An increased risk of heart disease
Greater risk of stroke
Higher prevalence of respiratory disease
More difficulty controlling blood sugar
Poorer performance on memory tests
Greater likelihood of delivering preterm, low birth weight babies
How Can I Keep My Gums Healthy?
Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
Floss regularly or use a dental pick.
Use mouthwash to reduce plaque.
Do not smoke or use tobacco.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in sugar.
Visit your dentist for regular cleanings every six months.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Chronic bad breath
Red, swollen gums
Bleeding when you brush
Loose or sensitive teeth
Sensitive or receding gums
Keep your gums healthy! Healthy gums look pink and clean and hold our teeth firmly and effectively – they don’t bleed or swell and keep nicely stuck to our teeth without gum “pockets”. For more information and to make an appointment, please call Advanced Dental Center at (203) 364-5084 or contact us online.