You’re trying to make small changes for the better in 2019. You may have started some New Year’s resolutions with good intentions, but you’ve already let some of them go.
The good news is that you can start healthy habits at any time, and one of the healthiest habits you can have is flossing your teeth. This simple step can go a long way toward protecting your smile and fighting gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
If you discover that you already have a gum infection, know that you can call 704-766-8662 to get gum disease treatment in Charlotte, NC at McNulty & Dancausse General Dentistry.
In the meantime, we want to share three important things everyone should know in recognition of February being Gum Disease Awareness Month.
1. Recognize The Symptoms
As children’s television show taught all of us many years ago, “Knowledge is power.” Knowing the sign of a periodontal infection can be the first step in getting the help that you need.
Without getting too technical, there are essentially two kinds of gum disease you need to know. The first is gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease. Its symptoms include:
- Gums that are redder than usual
- Gums that appear swollen
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
Many times, you can treat gingivitis with better care at home. However, it also can turn into the advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. (Coincidentally, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly half of all Americans 30 years and older has some form of periodontitis.) Its symptoms include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that are pulling away from teeth
- Bad breath, bad taste in your mouth
- Sore or tender gums
- Loose teeth
If you notice these signs, you should contact us as soon as possible to schedule a gum disease treatment.
2. Know The Risk Factors
As with many diseases, some people are more likely to develop this problem than others. By knowing what the risk factors are, you can become more aware of how your habits and things you can’t control could affect your gum health.
The most obvious risk factor is poor oral hygiene. If you aren’t brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental checkups, then you are opening the door for bacteria to start hurting your gum tissue. Using tobacco is another behavior that greatly increases your odds of developing gum problems.
People who have diabetes and women who are pregnant are more prone to gum infections as well. That’s why it’s particularly important to care for your oral health if you are in one or both of those groups.
People who have a family history of gum disease also face a greater risk of this problem. Knowing how common those issues are in your family can help you and your dentist in caring for your mouth.
3. It Can Affect More Than Your Mouth
At McNulty & Dancausse General Dentistry, we always encourage steps to prevent gum disease or to treat it as soon as possible. And it’s not just because of your oral health.
Gum disease has been linked to a number of other health issues as well. The bacteria that cause gum disease also have been found in the hearts of people with heart disease and who suffered heart attacks. Women with gum disease have a higher risk of giving birth to babies that have a low birth weight, and diabetics may experience more issues if they allow gum infections to go untreated.