Teeth get all the attention and it's pretty obvious why—self-esteem, social standing, attractiveness, and self-confidence are often derived from our pearly whites. The infrastructure for those teeth is important too but they seldom garner the attention that they deserve. You cannot have healthy teeth without healthy gums, so read on and find out how to get them.
The Sneaky Dental Malady
Gum disease can often exist without showing any obvious signs of its presence. Unfortunately, that can mean the problems can be far-reaching before you notice anything wrong. For most people, pain is a warning sign of issues in the mouth but not everyone experiences pain when afflicted by dental diseases. If you do experience any of the below, see your dentist immediately. The sooner your dentist addresses the problems the less likely you are to suffer from the more dire effects of gum disease like the loss of teeth and bone density in the jaw. Watch out for these signs of gum disease in your mouth:
- Bleeding from the gums when flossing and brushing. Even small amounts of bleeding warrant attention.
- Irritated and swollen-feeling gums.
- You notice you can slightly move your teeth—they feel loose.
- You may notice your gums are pulling away from your teeth.
- Pain when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing.
Causes of Gum Disease and the Effects
Gum disease is caused by bacteria. Bacteria can sneak into any tiny crack in the tooth, a cavity, a mouth sore, damaged fillings, or the gum line and set up an infection. There is more than one type of gum disease but none of them are easy to deal with once entrenched. The bacteria might act slowly and create a gradual loosening of the teeth or it might act in a more invasive manner producing mouth abscesses. One of the worst and most insidious ways gum disease damages you can be unexpected. You might not even realize that your bone structure beneath your jaw is permanently-affected until you need a cosmetic procedure like an implant.
Preventing Gum Disease
It's amazingly easy to prevent gum disease and save yourself having to undergo bone grafts later on. Take these preventative measures:
- Take care to brush each surface of each tooth thoroughly.
- Focus on brushing toward your gum line.
- Brush your tongue and floss thoroughly.
The best prevention for dental diseases is seeing your dentist on a regular schedule. There, the dental hygienist and the dentist can identify problems before they worsen.