The Centers for Disease Control has found that more than half of Americans, aged 30+, have periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. This represents 64.7 million Americans who are at risk of tooth loss because they have gum disease. Fortunately, your dental care providers here at Dental Partners of Boston have a plethora of solutions for diagnosing, preventing, and treating gum disease.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
If you are 35-40, you are at the age where gum disease can become severe. Here are some of the strongest indicators that you could develop it:
- Age: As you age, you are more likely to develop periodontal disease. In fact, more than 70% of Americans over age 65 suffer from it.
- Use of Tobacco: Tobacco use can cause and intensify periodontal disease.
- Poor Nutrition: A poor diet can damage your immune system, which helps to fight periodontal infections.
- Genetics: If periodontal disease runs in your family, you are likely to suffer from it.
Knowing the Symptoms
If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, you might have some of the symptoms of gum disease. These include tender, red gums, as well as pain in your mouth. You might notice that your gums bleed when you brush, floss, or eat certain types of food. You may also notice:
- Loose teeth.
- Persistent halitosis (bad breath).
- An overall change in how your bite feels.
- If you have caps, bridges, or other dental prosthetics, they might not fit correctly.
Treating Gum Disease: Early Non-Surgical Treatments
It is important for you to get to your dentist for your cleaning, especially if you’ve missed the last several appointments. Before gum disease becomes persistently bad, your dentist can perform the following treatments:
- Professional Dental Cleaning: During your dental cleaning, your dentist will scrape away plaque and tartar that have built up at the base of your tooth.
- Tooth Scaling and Root Planing: This is a procedure where your dentist puts you under a local anesthetic. They will smooth your teeth and remove plaque from under the gum line. This procedure gives your gums the opportunity to reattach to your teeth.
Prevention Starts With You
Ultimately, healthy gums start with you. Good dental hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, will help prevent gum disease. Here is what the experts are saying you should do to prevent gum disease:
- Brush your teeth twice per day, using fluoride-based toothpaste. You should brush for at least two minutes, using a circular motion.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash solution twice per day for thirty seconds to kill bacteria.
- Floss with wax-based dental floss taking time to go in between each tooth all the way down to the gum line.
- See your dentist twice per year for a checkup and cleaning.
- Give up smoking and smokeless tobacco products.
Gum disease is a fact of life for many Americans, but with regular dental hygiene and checkups, you can eliminate and prevent gum disease, keeping your permanent teeth longer. Our specialists at Dental Partners of Boston can help you prevent, manage, and recover from gum disease. Schedule an appointment for a consultation.