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December 21st, 2019

10 Surprising Facts About Gum Disease That Can Change Your Life

Category: cincinnati dentist

what to know about gum disease hagen dental in cincinnati

Gum disease: it is an infection of the tissue that support your teeth.

As you may or may not know, it is causes when a film of bacteria (also known as plaque), builds up enough on the teeth and then hardens, forming tartar.

Early stages of gum disease bring inflamed gums. Sometimes people start to notice they have bleeding when brushing or flossing at this stage, which is also called gingivitis.

But what else should you know about gum disease? Keep reading to learn facts about gum disease that may change your life—or they may just change your oral health habits for the better.

#1: Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults

When your gums get irritated and inflamed over time, pockets are created between your teeth and gums. That’s why we measure your gumline when you come in to see us, so we can watch any specific areas, and so that we can have a measure over time of your gum health, among other reasons. If the space increases enough, the pockets get deeper and the bone that support the teeth can be majorly damaged or lost. When this isn’t treated, tooth loss will occur because the tooth has no anchor to hold it in place.

#2: People can ignore the symptoms of gum disease

Gum disease can be silent, meaning people don’t always recognize how something is wrong; Gum disease can actually be painless, or the symptoms and signs can be easy to ignore. In other cases, people just “get used to” symptoms so they don’t realize there may be a growing problem. Be aware and don’t ignore symptoms such as:

  • Tender gums
  • Bleeding gums (like when you brush)
  • Swollen gums
  • Discolored gums
  • Bad breath you can’t explain
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus around your teeth or gums
  • Gums that seem to recede around the teeth

do not ignore bleeding gums hagen dental practice

#3: Gum disease explains a lot about chronic bad breath

Ever wonder why someone always has bad breath? Or maybe that person is you, and that’s not something to feel shame about, the point is that bad breath isn’t always just because someone didn’t just brush their teeth. Bad breath can be more of a chronic issue if a person has gum disease. If you think you may have bad breath because it just won’t seem to go away, be sure to ask us about it because it could be a sign you have gum disease or you have major plague build-up in your mouth. We’re here to help!

#4: Your dental team is checking your gum health every time you come in to see us

We’ve talked about the benefits of keeping up with your professional exams and cleanings with us; well, one of the benefits is that we’re noting your depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. The term we use is “pocket probing” or “charting” so that we can be sure we can diagnose you if you have gingivitis or periodontitis.

#5: Gum disease can be preventable  

Often times, gum disease develops due to a lack of proper oral health hygiene over time. But if you break down oral health hygiene, there can be a lot of components at play!

In addition to your oral health, there are other factors that can contribute to gum disease, too: aging, genetics, diabetes, smoking, stress, lack of nutrition, other diseases’ impact on the mouth, hormonal changes, certain medications you may be taking, and so much more—all of these things can also put you at increased risk or just contribute to the development of gum disease.

That’s not to scare you…rather, that list is to show you how much you can control when it comes to preventing or reversing gingivitis.

#6: Life stages and conditions can also put you at greater risk for developing gum disease

We mentioned how so many factors can either contribute, or put you at increased risk, for more plaque in the mouth. Certain cancers, diabetes, and HIV are other conditions where your immune system may be weakened, and can’t fight the bacterial infections that can lead to periodontal disease. Life stages such as pregnancy and stages of high stress an also put you at increased risk as well.

gingivitis and your oral health hagen dental practice

#7: …But gum disease is also treatable

Gum disease is preventable, but it is also treatable (and gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, is reversible). Turn to your dental care team for support in the process.

Every patient is different, so every plan will be different, meaning we can’t say what course of action we might recommend, but it may include more frequent dental cleanings, scaling and root planing, and/or prescription toothpaste to help you fight the bacteria.

This is also means you want to develop day in and day out proper oral health habits, which also includes not using any tobacco products or similar. Be sure you are properly brushing and flossing daily, using antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash, and continuing your dental visits for cleaning and checkups with us.

#8: Gum disease can be tied to other health conditions, outside the mouth

Bacteria is no joke, and your body interprets it as an invader, so it acts accordingly! Think of it this way: bacteria in your mouth doesn’t necessarily stay there.

Studies have also suggested there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, premature birth in pregnant women, and lung problems.

 #9: Your diet can help work against developing gum disease

Believe it or not, nutrition and your ongoing diet does play a role in preventing gum disease. Nutrient-rich and vitamin-rich diets that tend to include a lot of whole foods and minimize added sugars—in combination with a regular consumption of water—help to support strong teeth, but it also fosters an environment in the mouth that doesn’t lend itself towards bacteria over-growth.

#10: Gum disease is one of the most common dental diseases affecting those with diabetes

Poor blood sugar control impacts the body in many ways. One of those ways is the increased risk for gum problems.

People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum issues due to that poor blood sugar control; this is important to know because gum disease can also impact blood sugar, causing it to rise. In essence, that then makes diabetes more challenging to manage.

All in all, gum disease for those with diabetes (which impacts as much as 22% of those with diabetes) means your body is less able to fight bacteria that is invading your gum line, and it also unfortunately makes your overall blood sugar management more difficult, too.

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We’re Here to Help You Protect Your Oral Health: Give Hagen Dental Practice a Call Today

We value making sure you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit just as much as we value your oral health—and we’ll do everything we can to make you and your entire family feel at home.

We hope to see you and your family for your next appointment. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 or visit our website for convenient online scheduling here.

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