There are a number of conditions that dentists and their staffs are regularly helping prevent, and one of the most common and well-known is gum disease. And while the services you receive from your dentist are vital for preventing the risks of gum disease from becoming a reality for you, this is not the only resource you have -- there are also a number of basic oral care practices you can maintain to ensure gum disease does not become a problem for you.
At Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry, our general dentistry and other services are aimed at preventing and dealing with numerous dental conditions or issues, gum disease among them. What exactly is gum disease, and what can you do during your day-to-day oral care routine to prevent it from ever becoming a problem? Here's a basic primer in this two-part blog series.
First and foremost, let's lay out the basics of gum disease and why it's no laughing matter. Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth that causes irritation and inflammation in your gums, eventually resulting in receding gums, loose teeth, and even tooth loss for those who do not seek treatment.
Given how common this condition is -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of all American adults aged 30 or older have some form of periodontitis -- you might be wondering why it's not something that is more commonly spoken about. The answer to this likely lies in the fact that, in its early stages, gum disease is often asymptomatic, meaning those who have it may not realize they have a problem until the condition has progressed to a more advanced stage.
This is one of the reasons why regular dental checkups and cleanings are so important -- they provide your dentist with an opportunity to catch any early signs of gum disease and provide treatment before the condition worsens. Our next several sections will go over basic tips on how to prevent gum disease from ever becoming an issue.
Simple areas like your diet and your daily oral hygiene routine can have a profound effect on your risk of developing gum disease. For instance, sugary foods and drinks not only contribute to tooth decay but also feed the harmful bacteria in plaque, leading to an increased risk of gum disease.
You can help prevent this by maintaining strong general oral hygiene habits like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once per day. At the same time, look at your diet as another aspect of general oral hygiene that you can focus on to reduce your risk of gum disease.
In part two of our series, we'll get a bit more specific and dig into several other areas. For more on this, or to learn about any of our general dentistry or other services that help prevent gum disease, speak to the staff at Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry today.