You’ve probably heard of the term gum disease before. Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease, which is an infection and inflammation that affects the tissues and bone that support your teeth. Treating gum disease in the early stages is very important and can help prevent tooth loss. Inflammation and infection in your mouth can be correlated to your whole-body health. Gum disease has been linked to other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, and can be associated with strokes and high stress. Your mouth is the first pathway to your entire body, so it is very important to maintain great oral health!

Warning signs of gum disease include, but are not limited to:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Gums that are red, swollen, puffy or tender
  • Gums that no longer tightly hug your teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Feeling that your teeth are loose

Are you at risk?

Anyone can get gum disease, but there are factors that can increase your risks of getting it:

  • Poor homecare – not brushing two times a day and flossing once daily
  • Tobacco use – both smoking and smokeless
  • Gums that no longer tightly hug your teeth
  • Diseases that affect the whole body such as diabetes, HIV, heart disease
  • Medications
  • Teens, pregnant women, women on birth control pills
  • Family history of tooth loss
  • Bacteria that causes gum disease can be passed from person to person through saliva

You may not have any signs of gum disease at all, so that is why it’s important to see your dental hygienist and dentist on a regular basis. Together we can work together to get rid of the bacteria that is fighting against your overall health.

Chelsie, RDH