Dental tactics to prevent gum disease
Gum disease can be sneaky. Unlike many other diseases, gum disease does not give us early warning signs. It’s a is a progressive disease that most often develops slowly and without pain. However, once it has set in it can progress quite rapidly.
In its most mild form, known as gingivitis, gum disease causes redness, swelling and gum inflammation. You may also notice your gums bleed when you brush them. Persistent bad breath is another common early sign of gum disease.
It’s important to take gum disease seriously and seek treatment from your dentist. Left untreated, gum disease can eventually erode the bone that holds your teeth in place, leading to tooth loss.
Gum disease is a Canadian health concern
Gum disease is a common health concern in Canada. In fact, according to the Canadian Dental Association (read more here), seven out of ten people will develop gum disease at some point in their lives.
There may be a link between gum health and heart disease. Here’s how it might happen:
- When a person with periodontitis chews or brushes their teeth, the bacteria that causes the disease can be released into the bloodstream.
- Several common bacteria species known to cause gum disease are also found in atherosclerotic plaque, which, when built up in our arteries, can lead to heart attack.
- Oral bacteria can also lead to the formation of blood clots that can damage blood vessels and cause heart attacks.
The good news is gum disease is treatable for those who have it and preventable for those who don’t
Your first defence against gum disease is a regular dental examination that includes an assessment of your gums and tooth supporting bone. During this routine exam Dr. Sandhu or Dr. Saby, or one of his dental hygienists, will quickly and painlessly check and monitor the condition of your gums. They’ll be looking for:
- Signs of infection.
- Gum pockets (the space from the top of the gum to where the gum attaches to the tooth) that are deeper than normal.
If you show signs of gum disease your dentist or hygienist will help you tackle it. Treatment designed to to get rid of built up plaque and tartar will give your gums a chance to heal and help stop further damage.
Don’t let gum disease put your health at risk
Gum disease is relatively easy to prevent. All it takes is good oral hygiene habits: well-executed brushing and flossing along with regular dental exams and professional cleanings. If gum disease does manage to muscle in, it is easy to treat in its early stages. Even advanced periodontal disease is treatable. If you are experiencing symptoms such as:
- Bleeding gums.
- Persistent bad breath.
- Inflamed, puffy or red gums.
- Teeth that are sensitive for no reason.
See the dentist as soon as you can. The earlier treatment is begun, the easier and more effectively it most often is.