Gum disease isn’t as uncommon as people think — in fact, according to the CDC, nearly 50% of Americans over the age of 30 have some sort of gum disease! Luckily, gum disease can be stopped in its tracks and potentially reversed if caught early enough.
What Are Gums, Anyway?
Your gums are the soft tissue that cover your jaw bones, hold your teeth in your mouth, support your bones, and keep bacteria at bay. Gum disease can develop when bacteria isn’t properly cleaned out of the gum line, causing infection and potentially lost teeth.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis: The beginning stage of gum disease, this occurs when your teeth’s plaque gives off toxins that irritate and inflame the gum tissue. This stage of gum disease is the most likely to be reversed through extra attention and thorough brushing and flossing.
Mild to moderate periodontitis: During this stage, the inflammation of your gums causes an infection, which begins to deteriorate your gum tissue. The seal between your teeth and gums will also begin to weaken, causing pockets to form.
Advanced periodontitis: With advanced gum disease, the pockets near your gums will continue to grow, and may even cause your teeth to fall out.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to stop it from starting in the first place. The best part? Preventing gum disease isn’t very different from your daily oral health routine. To keep gum disease at bay, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, drink plenty of water, avoid tobacco and stress, and eat a balanced diet.
To make sure your gums are as they should be, don’t forget to visit your dentist every 6 months. Your dentist will give your teeth a deep cleaning that will scrape away the gum disease-causing plaque.