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How to Recognize and Prevent Gum Disease

How to Recognize and Prevent Gum Disease

How to Recognize and Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease affects approximately half of all Americans. While that's a startling statistic, what's more notable is that most cases are preventable. The good news is that preventative care is simple and, by taking care of your smile daily, you can ensure you don't become part of the statistic above.

Understanding Gum Disease

When teeth aren't kept clean, bacteria starts to grow in the mouth. Bacteria can cause inflammation and, over time, lead to the development of gum disease. Gum disease doesn't usually cause pain or discomfort as it begins to develop, making it more difficult to recognize at first.

However, there are symptoms that eventually emerge. If they are addressed when they first appear, it is possible to treat and prevent gum disease from returning. Symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • A receding gum line
  • Loose or separating teeth (as the gums pull away from the teeth)
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Sores in the mouth

Prevention Begins at Home

Oral health begins at home. Here are some simple ways to take care of your gums and help prevent gum disease:

  • Brush for at Least 2 Minutes Twice Daily — Brush with fluoridated toothpaste in the morning and in the evening. Take special care along the gum line to remove any food and bacteria. If you have trouble keeping track of time, you may want to invest an electronic toothbrush with a built-in timer.
  • Floss at Least Once Daily — Floss removes food and bacteria that brushing can't, preventing the formation of plaque and related gum health issues. If you struggle with traditional floss, you may opt for an interdental cleaner or water pic.
  • Use a Mouthwash — Mouthwash, in combination with brushing and flossing, helps to reduce plaque buildup, thereby preventing gum irritation.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet — Avoiding starchy and sugary foods helps to decrease plaque and the potential for gum disease.

Professional Prevention Plays a Part

In addition to diligent at-home care, dental visits are also critical to gum disease prevention:

  • Professional Cleanings — Only dentists have the tools necessary to remove plaque from your teeth, making it important to get professional cleanings every 6 months. If you suffer from gum disease, you should try to visit your dentist more frequently, every 3-4 months for cleanings.
  • Common Dental Problem Correction — Improper fillings, grinding, and other common dental issues can increase the risk of gum disease. Proactively correcting problems like these will decrease the risk of gum disease.

Prevention Begins With Proper Care and Professional Guidance

Only you can provide the day-to-day care your teeth and gums deserve. However, there is only so much you can do on your own and, therefore, you should visit your dentist regularly as well.

You don't have to be one of the many Americans currently suffering from gum disease. By taking steps to understand, recognize, and prevent gum disease, you can enjoy a healthy smile, gums included!

Patient Reviews

  • Dr. Rehder and the entire staff are friendly and compassionate. They accommodate my needs as a patient and treat me as a personal friend. Professionally, they provide the utmost care and advice, the patient always comes first. I can’t say enough positive comments about this practice.

    ~Review by Eileen S.

  • Dr. Rehder is very professional, yet not too serious as he is doing your teeth. He makes it relaxing and is able to keep your mind away from his work (I have never liked going to the dentist, but Dr. Rehder makes the experience as close to pleasant as a dentist visit can be).

    ~Review by Mary Ellen M.

  • Thank you Dr. Rehder and Christine for the "always exciting" and "never a dull moment" orthodontist appointment. See you in two weeks to do it all over again. Ok maybe-not ALL over again.

    ~Review by Elena C.

  • I had a great experience with Dr. Rehder. He is very informative and professional. All of the staff were so nice and helpful. My overall experience was one of the best I had with a dental office. I would definitely recommend people to come here.

    ~Review by Paulina C.

  • Professional staff. Makes you feel at ease, would highly recommend.

    ~Review by Diane S.

  • Always wonderful visits at Pinefield Dental. I've been a patient since the very early 90s. The staff is my extended family & takes care of my teeth with the utmost professionalism. This is my dental home

    ~Review by Kenneth C.

  • The doctor and staff were wonderful. My experience is always great. The staff is very caring and always professional. The hours are very convenient as well. They will be able to accommodate anyone's schedule.

    ~Review by Amanda C.

  • Richard F. Gittleson, DDS Reviews No one likes/enjoys going to the dentist, but our dentist (Dr. Gittleson) and his staff are so pleasant they help relieve a patient fears.

    ~Review by Patricia L.

  • Highly recommended, I’ve been a patient since 1983.

    ~Review by Charles G.

  • Excellent.

    ~Review by Dom J.

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