Think you know all there is to know about gum disease? Well, there are quite a few little known facts that you should be aware of so you can take the right steps towards keeping those gums clean and healthy.
Want to know just how important gum health really is, and how scary gum disease could be? Read on!
Gum Disease Could Cause Tooth Loss
If you thought that gum disease only affected the gums, you might be surprised to learn that it could actually result in the loss of your teeth as well.
Adults of all ages should be aware of the fact that they could lose their teeth because of periodontitis, a.k.a. gum disease. Taking steps to ensure your gums are strong from a young age is important when it comes to maintaining the strength of your teeth as you get older.
You could help reduce the odds of gum disease wreaking havoc on your pearly whites by brushing and flossing every day, and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Your dental hygienist and dentist will be equipped to look out for signs of gum disease that could make your teeth loose enough to fall out.
Basically, once gum disease has been diagnosed, it’s important to receive the appropriate treatments, as leaving it untreated might result in losing your teeth—and nobody wants that!
It Could Affect Your Unborn Baby
Studies have found that there may be a link between a pregnant woman’s oral health and the health of her unborn baby. Whoa!
Pregnant women who have been diagnosed with gum disease, in particular, might have an increased risk of delivering premature babies. On top of that, a pregnant woman suffering from gum disease might give birth to baby with a lower than normal weight. Both premature birth and low birth weight are factors that may result in other health problems for your child. Scary stuff!
Seeing your dentist while you’re pregnant is recommended. You could have all of your questions answered, and the earliest signs of gingivitis could be caught before gum ailments cause other problems.
Genetics Might Play a Role
Your oral hygiene routine plays a role in whether or not you end up with gum disease, but genetics is also considered a risk factor.
Researchers have found that, for some people, brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings might not be enough if they’re susceptible to periodontitis thanks to their genes. So, ask around. If your family has a history of gum disease, be on the lookout, and consider following a strict oral hygiene routine that, combined with support from your dentist, might help boost your defenses.
Note:In addition to genes and home care, other factors that may play a role in the development of gum disease include smoking, medications, and diet.
Symptoms Aren’t Always Obvious
Here’s another unsettling tidbit about periodontitis that you may not know: it could be a silent disease that doesn’t cause obvious symptoms, at least early on. It’s believed that many people have gum disease without even realizing it, especially if you aren’t seeing your dentist often enough (another reason to keep those appointments!).
So here’s what you should know:
- Gum disease is considered an inflammatory ailment. Catching it sooner rather than later may help ensure that treatment will be easier.
- Gum disease could affect both the hard and soft structures that provide necessary support to your chompers.
- Gingivitis is the name given to the early stage of gum disease. This is when you might notice that your gums are red and swollen as a result of bacteria.
- When gingivitis goes unchecked and unresolved, you may end up with periodontitis. At this point, you might notice your gums separating from your teeth. Gum tissue and bone could become damaged and, ultimately, lost, resulting in teeth that become loose and—gasp!—fall out.
It Could Lead to Embarrassing Bad Breath
Do you have trouble keeping bad breath at bay? Your gum health might be to blame. It’s true!
If you notice that your bad breath won’t go away, no matter how hard you try, and you can’t blame your bad breath on the foods that you ate recently, consider seeing your dentist ASAP to find out if gum disease is the problem.
Here are some tips to help you combat stinky breath.
It May Be Associated with Other Health Problems
Gum disease is terrible enough on its own, but did you know that researchers have found that it might also be linked to a range of other diseases?
Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even heart disease have been associated with periodontal disease, perhaps because of damaging inflammation. So, by keeping your gums clean and free of disease, you may also be taking an additional step in helping other parts of your body stay healthy. Who knew?!
The More You Know, the Better!
Knowing as much as possible about how to keep your teeth and gums clean could give you more confidence. After all, you’ll be aware of risks, as well as what steps you can take to reduce those risks.
Now that you’ve discovered a few lesser-known facts about periodontitis, you could impress your dentist at your next appointment, and maybe even feel empowered by the fact that you can do something to protect your gums as you get older, so you can keep your lovely smile for years to come.