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dentist caring for patient's gums

Gum Care Awareness

dentist caring for patient's gums

 How Important Is Gum Health?

 September is Gum Care Awareness month, although few people know about it. Even though it’s not widely celebrated like some other awareness month diseases, good gum health is integral to good physical health. Therefore, the importance of healthy gums to a healthy body can’t be overstated. Poor gum health is the leading cause of tooth loss in those who are 35 and older, and gum disease has been linked to the onset of other severe health ailments.

Ready to schedule your dental exam and cleaning to ensure optimal gum health? Give us a call today to make an appointment.

How Should I Care for My Gums?

Good oral hygiene combined with regular dental checkups and cleanings are the best methods for ensuring a lifetime of good oral health that includes healthy gums. The good news is that good oral hygiene and good gum health don’t require any special equipment, tests, or procedures. All it requires is discipline, dedication, and equipment you probably have on hand, such as:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush that’s the appropriate size for your mouth
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss, either traditional floss, a flosser, or floss picks
  • Antibacterial mouthwash

Be sure that all your dental supplies carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re getting a good quality product that will help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Combine your good oral hygiene routine with regular dental checkups and cleanings, and you’ll have an ideal setup for maintaining good oral health.

If you have signs of gum disease, don’t ignore them because gum disease won’t abate on its own, it needs professional intervention. When detected in its initial stage of gingivitis, any damage can be reversed. However, if gingivitis remains untreated, it will escalate to periodontal disease, and you’ll have incurred irreversible damage. The treatments are also more invasive and more expensive.

How Do I Detect the Presence of Gum Disease?

If you think you have gum disease, you probably do because it doesn’t usually present asymptomatically. However, if you have any of the following seven symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can:

  1. Areas of infection at the junction of your teeth and gums
  2. Gaps between your teeth or loosened teeth
  3. Halitosis or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
  4. Infection or pus in between your gums and teeth
  5. Minor bleeding when you brush or floss
  6. Receding gums
  7. Sensitive, swollen, or inflamed gums

If you notice any of these, seek professional dental help without delay.

What Happens If I Have Gum Disease?

 If you think you have gum disease and have made an appointment with your dentist, they’ll examine your teeth and gums to determine if gum disease is the issue, and, if so, which stage you have. Next, your Peoria dentist will prescribe a treatment for your gum disease and make recommendations on how to avoid a recurrence of the disease. Don’t ignore gum disease in the vain hope that it will go away on its own. It won’t. You need a professional diagnosis and treatment.

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease and How Many Are There?

Gum disease has three stages:

  1. Gingivitis: This is the first stage and is usually characterized by minor bleeding during brushing and flossing. It’s caused by a buildup of tartar on the teeth. Tartar irritates your gums, but it can be removed by your dentist, and you can easily prevent future buildups by following your dentist’s recommendations. Gingivitis is curable and doesn’t cause irreversible damage.
  2. Periodontitis: This is the second stage of gum disease and is caused by ignoring your gingivitis. At this point, you’ll have incurred irreversible damage, and even though the progression of the disease can be halted, the damage will be done. Your only recourse to repair the damage is reconstructive dentistry and better oral hygiene in the future. Your bones and supporting tissues in your mouth will be damaged but can be treated with antibiotics, root planing, and scaling.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis: This is the final stage of periodontal disease, and by this time, you’ll have experienced extensive and irreversible damage to the bones and tissues in your mouth. Your facial structure may look like it has melted and you may have lost some or all of your teeth. Corrective dentistry can repair some of the damage, but the procedures are expensive and time-consuming. Dentures or implants can restore functionality to your mouth, but you’ll need to adopt good oral hygiene habits for the repairs to be effective over time.

It’s unfortunate that all this can be prevented by using good oral hygiene, but that’s the case. By the time you’ve reached the advanced periodontitis stage, you may have also damaged some of your major organs. 

Research has shown a correlation between poor oral health and many major diseases, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke

It has also been shown to adversely affect birth weight and development in infants.

Anything that goes into your mouth will eventually end up throughout your body because the tissues and membranes in your mouth are very thin and readily absorbed into the bloodstream. So if you want a healthy body, you need healthy teeth and gums.

 Do You Need a Dental Appointment?

If you think you may have gum disease and need an appointment, or if it has been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, then call Maple Shade Dental Group at and schedule an appointment. Your dentist is your staunchest ally in maintaining good oral health and, therefore, good physical health. If you have symptoms of gum disease, or if you don’t and want to keep it that way, call for an appointment. We recommend that everyone who’s at least 18 get an oral cancer screening during their exam. The screening isn’t invasive or painful; your dentist will perform it during the exam, but it is very important.

Call our Peoria office today to schedule an appointment. You’ll be glad you made the call.

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