Tooth loss can have a serious impact on a person’s quality of life, potentially affecting everything from nutrition to self-confidence, just to name two of its far-reaching effects. Preventing tooth loss to keep your smile healthy and whole is a major goal of general dentistry, and that means keeping you safe from gum disease. Continue reading to learn more about this oral health threat and how you can prevent it to keep your smile healthy and whole!
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a chronic inflammation and infection in the periodontal (gum) tissue. People of all ages can develop this condition, but it is far more common in older adults. Estimates say that approximately half of people over the age of 35 have gum disease to some extent, with the risk raising dramatically over the age of 55.
Watch out for the symptoms of gum disease to ensure that you receive treatment sooner rather than later. Some of the warning signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding, red, and inflamed gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Gum recession
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad taste in the mouth
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease is a progressive disease. In the beginning stages, it is known as gingivitis and can usually be reversed with improved oral hygiene habits and a couple extra visits to the dentist. After gum disease has progressed, your dentist will likely recommend treatment with scaling and root planing (SRP). This is a treatment in which special tools are used to clean above and below the gum line, removing plaque and bacteria and smoothing out the tooth’s root to prevent reinfection. Scaling and root planing is usually carried out over the course of several visits to the dentist.
You Can Prevent Gum Disease
The effects of gum disease are serious — but you can keep your smile safe with excellent oral hygiene at home and routine visits to the dentist! Remember the following to prevent periodontal disease in Jacksonville and keep your smile healthy and complete for years to come.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day (or after each meal)
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to keep the tooth enamel strong and protected
- Floss between teeth daily
- Stop or do not start smoking
- Maintain a balanced, nutritious, and low-sugar diet
- Visit your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning
There you have it: a quick primer on everything you need to know about gum disease and how to enjoy a beautiful and complete smile as you age. The secret to a lasting oral health is preventing gum disease!
Meet the Periodontist
Dr. Richard Aguila is a periodontist specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease. He has helped numerous patients effectively manage their periodontal health to enjoy healthy smiles for the long-haul. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with your periodontist in Jacksonville, do not wait to call the office at 904-683-4781.