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Can gum disease be prevented?

family dentistry DallasWhile genetics may play a small role in your oral condition, problems associated with gum disease are often preventable. There are many things that can contribute to gingivitis or the more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. But with the proper dental care, you and your family can remain free from gum disease.

Causes of Gum Disease

Neglect – patients who do not brush and floss are setting themselves up to suffer the effects of poor oral health.

Diet – individuals who rely on foods and beverages that contain sugar and carbohydrates are feeding the bacteria already present in the mouth. Plaque begins to harden primarily at the base of teeth and burrows beneath the gum line – you may not be able to see it, but it is there doing damage.

Smoking and smokeless tobacco are not only harmful to your body, but it is a proven fact that users are much more likely to develop gum disease.

Individuals suffering from crooked or misaligned teeth have areas that are difficult to keep clean. These pockets require professional care on a regular basis, so patients who skip or put off seeing their dentist every six months increase the odds of developing problems down the road.

Early Symptoms of Gum Disease 

Bleeding gums – if gum tissue bleeds during brushing it could be due to the way you are brushing (a hard bristle brush and heavy hand); or you could be suffering from the onset of gingivitis.

Red, swollen gum tissue – healthy gum tissue is pink and firm. If you notice a change in the appearance of your gingiva, a visit to the dentist is needed.

Bad breath – many foods and beverages can result in bad breath. However, if you notice that you are experiencing bad breath chronically, this can mean an infection is brewing.

Pain – many patients make the mistake of believing that gum disease must impact a large area of the mouth. This is not true – gum disease often begins with one tooth or quadrant and advances from there. Don’t ignore discomfort that lasts more than a day or two.

Gum disease is preventable, but even the most ardent rule followers may experience a problem. Early attention is key to preventing a problem from escalating. Family dentistry will provide the care you need to resolve issues with gum disease, and educate you on how to prevent a recurrence in the future.