Need some encouragement to schedule that semi-annual appointment with Reston Dental? Gum disease might just give you the motivation you need. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, starts with seemingly harmless symptoms but can escalate quickly if left untreated. Arming yourself with the following information will keep you and your mouth happy.
Gum disease is caused by plaque that builds-up on the teeth along the gumline. The plaque creates pockets of bacteria underneath the gums, which infect the tissue and, eventually, the structures that literally keep your teeth in your mouth. Some common causes include:
- Poor dental hygiene – Brushing after meals and and flossing daily can help, but only a professional dental cleaning can get to those hard-to-reach places under the gumline and between crowded teeth. If you’re overdue for that appointment, call Reston Dental sooner rather than later.
- Smoking – For starters, smokers tend to develop more plaque and tartar than non-smokers. To make matters worse, once smokers develop gum disease, they are more resistant to treatment than their non-smoking counterparts. There are many reasons to quit smoking; now you can include gum disease among them.
- Medications – One of the side effects of some medications can be mouth dryness. Those who experience this mouth lack sufficient saliva to naturally combat plaque build-up. Another side effect can be swollen gums which are more likely to trap plaque beneath the gumline.
- Stress and poor nutrition – Both of these can cause your immune system to take a hit, making you susceptible not only to gum disease, but a host of other medical conditions, as well.
Let’s be honest: most of us could stand to improve our dental health regimen. Instead of blindly brushing and half-heartedly flossing, pay attention to the message your teeth and gums are sending you. If things are even slightly uncomfortable, consider the following:
- The early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) often start with tender, swollen, or bleeding gums. Newsflash: Healthy gums should not bleed from daily dental care! If you are currently experiencing these symptoms, call Reston Dental and schedule a cleaning.
- As gum disease advances, the symptoms become more unpleasant. Sufferers experience bad breath caused by the bacteria trapped under the gums, and eventually, loose teeth. Left untreated, these loose teeth could require extraction and reconstructive dental work.
This one is simple: have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. Brushing and flossing are a good start, but your mere mortal hands can’t do what those of your Reston dentist and dental hygienist can. They are skilled beyond compare at cleaning below the gumline and in those hard-to-reach places created by crowded teeth or structures like braces and bridges. If you’re between visits and notice discomfort, swelling, or redness when brushing or flossing, contact your Reston Dental immediately. If treated in a timely manner, gum disease does not have to result in the loss of those pearly whites.