Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the United States. It can be caused by poor dental hygiene habits, like not brushing and flossing your teeth daily and avoiding regular dental checkups with your dentist in Cedar Rapids. Not only that, but gum disease can even lead to other more serious health issues like heart problems later on in life. If you notice any of these common signs that you may have gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to receive treatment and preserve your oral health.
Gum Disease Facts
Gum disease is a serious infection in the gums, and more than 60 million Americans have some form of it. One of the most common problems with gum disease is that it needs to be caught early in order for it to be cured. Otherwise, the disease can only be treated and managed. To make matters more complicated, sometimes the symptoms of gum disease aren’t recognized as a problem, so patients go too long without seeking treatment from their dentist in Cedar Rapids. This is why it’s so important to understand what gum disease looks like in its various stages so you can get treatment quickly if you notice any signs of a potential problem.
The First Signs of Gum Disease
Knowing what to look for can make all the difference in catching and treating gum disease successfully and having it cause bigger problems. Keep an eye out for:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Pain while chewing
- New tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your Cedar Rapids dentist. Diagnosing gum disease in the early stages can help prevent some complications of gum disease such as tooth loss, an increased risk of decay, and heart disease.
Even though poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease, there are other factors that can make someone more likely to develop issues. Some risk factors include:
- Tobacco use
- Hormonal changes (such as with pregnancy)
- Some medications that can cause dry mouth
- Certain diseases like diabetes and Crohn’s
The Good News
There is some good news when it comes to gum disease — it’s usually preventable since it’s most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. To reduce your risk of developing gum disease, make sure to keep your gums healthy by:
- Brushing and flossing daily
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Using an ADA approved therapeutic mouthwash
- Seeing your dentist in Cedar Rapids at least twice a year
If you’re noticing any signs of gum disease, it’s best to visit your dentist right away for treatment. The earlier gum disease is caught, the easier it is to treat. To keep your teeth (and body!) healthy and strong for years to come, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and schedule regular dental cleanings at least once every six months.