Did you know that gum disease is something that affects more than half of adults over the age of 30 here in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? That’s a pretty staggering statistic, and one that may take you by surprise. What this means is that gum disease is incredible common, but it doesn’t have to be serious if you learn how to take control of your oral health. Here we’ll take a look at what gum disease is, the symptoms and signs, prevention tips, and what you can do about it if you’re diagnosed with it.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease doesn’t start off as a disease. Instead, it starts as plaque. As this plaque grows and builds on your teeth, it then hardens and become tartar. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed by flossing or brushing, as it is very stuck on the teeth. At this point, a person is usually diagnoses with gingivitis, so their gums may be a bit sensitive and bleed when brushed or appear red.
Over time, the gingivitis gets worse. If the gingivitis isn’t caught and remedied it will get worse and infection starts to set in. A person’s gums can change color and even appear swollen or puffy. Over time, your teeth start to break down, which can result in a person’s teeth falling out all-together.
It’s Not Just Adults Who Get It
It’s important to note that even though it is common with adults, that’s not to say that kids can’t get it. Gum disease can happen to anyone at any time; this includes kids. The best tip is for parents to encourage proper oral health, which means teeth brushing and flossing, and regular visits to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning.
How to Prevent Gum Disease?
Obviously the best course of action is to prevent gum disease from happening in the first place. There are some simple steps you can follow that will help to prevent it. These include using mouthwash twice a day to reduce the amount of plaque and food particles on your teeth, flossing at least once a day, and brushing your teeth at least twice a day or after each meal.
Of course, it’s also important to visit your dentist on a regular basis, so they can catch the beginnings of gingivitis before it progresses into gum disease. Because it’s recommended you see your dentist at least once a year, if not more, it can get pretty expensive, especially if you need any dental work done. This is why it’s a good idea to look into medical insurance. You can read about different plans and coverages, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield Dental Insurance, on Medical Health Insurance Today.
A Preventable Disease
While gum disease is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly, the good news is that in almost all cases it can be prevented with proper oral care and regular visits to your dentist.