Don’t Wait Until It Hurts
Gum disease or periodontal disease can be a hidden problem. The disease can progress and damage the tissue around the tooth and the bone without symptoms until it is in an advanced stage. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed.
There are early warning signs that you may or may not notice. Regular dental checkups are very important to check for gum disease. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.
Warning signs include:
- gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- red, swollen or tender gums
- gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- bad breath that doesn’t go away
- pus between your teeth and gums
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- a change in the fit of partial dentures
You can help prevent periodontal disease by following these steps:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss or use another between-the-teeth cleaner daily to remove plaque and food from areas your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Your dentist or hygienist may recommend using a germ-fighting mouthrinse
- Eat a healthy diet and limit snacks
- Visit your dentist regularly-If plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens into tartar (calculus). Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, which traps bacterial along the gumline.