It’s Not Just Your Teeth That Need Attention
Spring has sprung and it’s a great time of year to freshen up your dental hygiene habits. Buy a new toothbrush or try out a whitening toothpaste to add that extra sparkle to your smile. But it’s not just your teeth that need attention, your gums need some TLC, too. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, almost 75% of adults in the US have gum disease, but may not know it. Do you know what gum disease signs to look out for?
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease often goes unnoticed in the early stages, but pay attention to common symptoms, such as:
- Red or swollen gums that are tender or painful
- Bleeding with brushing and flossing
- Constant bad breath
- Receding gums
Gum disease occurs when food remains on the teeth and forms into plaque, a soft and sticky film that contains bacteria. If it is not removed with brushing and flossing, plaque turns into tartar which hardens and can only be removed by professional cleaning. The tartar can irritate and inflame the gums, leading to the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis.
The best way to stop gum disease from harming your dental health is through regular brushing and flossing, and routine dental checkups. You may also want to consider a mouthwash — it can get into the hard to reach places that your toothbrush might miss.
While you’re at it, a healthy gum routine also consists of limiting sugary foods and starches, including soft drinks. Taking care of your gums helps both your dental health and your overall health.
We care about our patients and want to help you stay as healthy as possible. If you have questions about your dental health, please feel free to contact our office— and remember to “Think Spring!”