Many adults will develop gum disease, which can lead to serious oral infection and tooth loss. But there is no reason that you should become one of its victims. By learning a little about the causes and signs of gum disease, you can easily protect your oral health now and into the future.
Healthy gums are generally pink, but when there is gum disease developing, the color of the gums will generally become much darker. They will appear dark red and they will usually become swollen and uncomfortable. This is often accompanied by a persistent bad taste in the mouth or bad breath. If you notice these symptoms, then you may have developed gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis. Often people who have developed gum disease will also notice that their gums bleed or their toothbrush appears pink after brushing. This is caused by the weakened gums and should be taken as a clear warning sign that you need to improve your oral health.
Since gingivitis does not tend to be accompanied by any pain, many people overlook the signs and allow the gum disease to develop. If you catch the condition in the early stages, then you can easily reverse it without having long-term damage to your oral health.
The next stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. It is much more serious because by this stage serious infection is in place and it is undermining the support that the gums give to the teeth. This means that you are now in danger of losing your teeth and may have to undergo dental surgery in order to eradicate the condition.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by bacteria. Bacteria develop in your mouth throughout the day, but are particularly active after you have eaten. Bacteria then react with saliva in your mouth and produce plaque, which can irritate the gums and cause gum disease. If you want to keep your mouth free from gum disease then you need to be vigilant about removing bacteria and plaque daily. Ideally this will mean that you brush after each meal, floss and use mouthwash.
As well as following a good home oral health routine, you need to make sure that you visit your dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist is able to find the early warning signs of gum disease before you are likely to notice them and provide advice on how you can protect your oral health.
Author Bio-Michael Foster is a natural health writer that focuses on the links between oral and overall health.