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The Perils of Gun Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is no small matter. Left unchecked and untreated, unhealthy gums can damage your smile and your overall oral health - tooth connectivity and integrity are at stake, as tooth loosening and loss can result. Furthermore, poor gum health can have an affect on the health of your body as a whole. Luckily, symptoms of gum disease are generally easy to identify, and your dental professionals are well-trained to treat it.

Here's a primer on identifying and treating gum problems early:

  1. Take notice.
    When gingivitis (gum inflammation) appears and isn't treated, periodontitis can result. These phase of gum disease often leads to gum recession and tooth loss, the disadvantages of which are obvious. So, be on the lookout for any signs of gingivitis - namely bright red, swollen, and/or sensitive gums that bleed easily during brushing, or oral sores - and be vigilant in treating it before it advances.
  2. Brush your teeth regularly.
    Always be serious about your oral health - but especially so when confronting gum disease. Spend extra effort on your teeth and gums if you're concerned about the issue, as accumulating bacteria becomes plaque and often causes gum disease. Removing the plaque by vigilant brushing with a fluoride toothpaste - paying attention to the gumline - is essential in staving off gum disease.
  3. Floss regularly.  
    Flossing carries more benefit than merely removing food particles from between the teeth. It also helps to keep the gums clear - as well as keeping them stimulated and "exercised" to help prevent atrophy. Without flossing, your gums can recede and form large pockets that can easily breed infections.
  4. Avoid tobacco use.
    Smoking is generally seen as a contributor to gum disease - as well as a hindrance in treating it.
  5. Have your teeth cleaned professionally.
    Make sure you're keeping up regular dental visits - even if you're not experiencing symptoms. Prevention, after all, is generally better than cure. But when already dealing with gum disease, your dentist is even more crucial to the process. He or she can help stop the progression of gum disease through in-depth dental cleanings - the kind you can't do at home. Keeping your mouth clear of bacteria in this way is a great step in combating gum problems as well as preventing them.
  6. Further professional treatments.
    If your gum disease has progressed, your dentist might suggest a procedure known as scaling/root planing. This involves cleaning deep into the pockets and roots between gum and teeth. Your dentist might also suggest periodontal surgery.