Gum disease is, unfortunately, a very common problem among adults from all across the U.S. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, over 47% of adults in the U.S. suffer from gum disease. That’s an alarming statistic considering how relatively easy it is to avoid the condition altogether! Left untreated, gum disease can result in tooth loss. Worse yet, periodontal disease has been linked to other much more serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that gum disease itself is very treatable if it’s caught early on. Often, patients with early-stage gum disease can simply undergo a deep cleaning in their dentist office, then follow up with a daily at-home oral hygiene regimen.
But an even better solution to the problem of gum disease is to never develop it to begin with! And now, at the start of the New Year, is a great time to begin to take the proactive steps necessary to make sure you don’t become one of the 47%. Take control of your oral health this year by following these simple steps to prevent gum disease:
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist, if you haven’t already. The first step in preventing gum disease is to make sure you don’t have it right now. Typically, gum disease symptoms include redness and/or swelling of the gums, pain or tenderness of gum tissue, bleeding gums, sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages, and receding gums. But you may have the early stages of gum disease and not experience these symptoms, so it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning.
- Do more than just brush your teeth. Think of your gums as the foundation for your teeth. If your gums aren’t healthy, you’ll eventually lose your teeth! So a thorough oral hygiene regimen at home is an absolute must-have to keep both your teeth and gums healthy. And that involves more than simply brushing twice a day. In addition to brushing, you should floss at least once a day. And consider being even more proactive about gum health by using an antibacterial mouthwash once or twice a day as well. This will help to kill bad bacteria that lives inside your mouth and can cause gum disease.
- Pull out all the stops with a water flosser. If you really want to take your gum disease prevention to the next level, purchase a water flosser device. These instruments use jets of water to flush out leftover food particles from between teeth and under gum tissue. While it takes a little practice to get accustomed to using a water flosser, the results are well worth the effort!
The start of the New Year is a great time to incorporate new, healthy habits into your daily life, and what could be better than habits that prevent gum disease! Don’t be another statistic – call your dentist today to schedule your appointment for an oral exam and professional cleaning.