Health and Fitness

What you should know about gum disease

Gum disease is a common ailment, but it can have serious ramifications, if not addressed in time. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of American adults suffer from gum disease whether mild, moderate, or severe. The risk of developing it increases in adults aged 65 and more. Despite the commonality, there are simple remedies for gum disease that anyone can follow to prevent and eliminate it. Being aware of the causes as well as the signs and symptoms can empower you to give importance to dental care.

Causes of gum disease
Bacteria found in plaque usually causes gum disease. The bacteria feed on sugar found in the food and drinks one consumes. They produce toxins that irritate the gums, causing them to swell and bleed. If not removed in time, plaque can harden into tartar and force gums to recede.

While anyone can develop gum disease, certain factors can increase the risk. Not brushing and flossing regularly, doing so incorrectly, and eating sugary food items often can hasten the process. Tobacco use also prompts gum disease. The condition is more likely to develop in people with a family history of gum disease as well as individuals with a compromised immune system. A diet that does not contain enough vitamins and minerals can up the chances of developing it.

Signs and symptoms to watch for
Gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing
Gums that are sensitive and inflamed
Teeth that are loose and gums that recede
Halitosis and pus in the gums

Types of gum disease
Gum disease is an umbrella term for several types of conditions that include:
Gingivitis: In this mild form of gum disease, the gums become inflamed and bleed easily. Heredity, stress, smoking, age, compromised immune system, and even pregnancy can lead to gingivitis.
Periodontitis: Untreated gingivitis can worsen into periodontitis. The plaque may spread below the gums and if left untreated, can cause them and bone structure to break down. Over time, tooth loss may also occur.

What you can do about it
As severe as it can get, gum disease is treatable, especially in the initial stages. Eating a balanced diet, staying away from tobacco, too many sugary foodstuff, and brushing and flossing regularly can do a world of good. Visiting a dentist twice a year for scaling and other treatments can also prevent and eliminate gum disease. Your doctor may prescribe remedies for gum disease and advise you to follow a plan for better oral health.
Neglecting dental care can prove to be expensive in more ways than you can imagine. Aside from having to undergo expensive standard treatments, you may require tooth implants that cost a small fortune. Rather than going through lengthy and costly procedures, you can prevent the condition from developing in the first place. Be aware of the causes, look out for the signs, and follow the simple tips given above to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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