Periodontal (gum) disease is prevalent among half of American adults in some form. What's worse is that many people are probably unaware that they have it. That's why it's so vital for your dentist in Bangor, ME to educate patients about gum disease and what they can to prevent it. Read on for some helpful tips and answers.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is best described as a chronic infection of the support system for your teeth, which are your gums and jawbone. It's caused by excess plaque buildup causing your gums to separate from your teeth and allowing harmful bacteria below the gum line. If this infection is left untreated, it will eventually destroy your bone and soft tissues and result in tooth loss.
What Are the Early Signs of Gum Disease?
The reason that many people are unaware they're affected by gum disease is that there are very few symptoms in the beginning. Some signs to be aware of are:
- Gums that easily bleed when you brush or floss
- Chronic bad breath that doesn't go away with brushing or mouthwash
- Gums that appear red, swollen, or irritated
The first stage of gum disease in which you may notice these symptoms is called gingivitis. You can successfully manage gum disease with improved home care and thorough professional cleaning.
The advanced phase of gum disease is called periodontitis, and it is in this stage that the damage is done. You may notice that your gums are receding or your teeth are beginning to feel mobile if you are suffering from periodontitis.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
An excellent home care routine with daily brushing (at least twice) and flossing (at least once) is the best way for you to prevent gum disease at home. Be sure you understand proper brushing and flossing techniques so you can make the most of your home care routine.
Consistent visits to your dentist in Bangor, ME are also critical for preventing gum disease. Dr. Buxton can detect gum disease much earlier than you can and being proactive about early detection gives you an opportunity for less invasive treatment to manage your condition. Give Maine Family Dental Practice a call today if it's time to schedule your next appointment.