You have probably heard the term gingivitis from your dentist or in advertisements for toothpaste or other dental care products. Do you know what gingivitis really is and why dentists are so concerned about fighting it? Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is more common than you would think. Nearly 50 percent of the population of adults in the U.S. has some form of gum disease, and many of these people aren’t even aware of the condition. Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of hardened plaque under the gums, which inflames the gums and eventually leads to tooth loss. With so many people affected by gum disease, is it possible that you could be in danger of developing gum disease and losing your teeth too?
If you are visiting your dentist regularly and maintaining proper oral hygiene practices at home, your gums and teeth should remain healthy for a long time. However, if any of the following apply to you, it is possible that your smile is at risk of developing gum disease:
- Not flossing and brushing your teeth properly every day
- Neglecting regular dental cleanings
- Having poor dietary habits
- A weak immune system
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Having gum disease in your family
Usually, if you are careful about what you eat and avoid snacking on sugary foods while maintaining proper oral care habits, you can keep your smile free of gum disease. One of the most important ways to fight gum disease is to visit your dentist for regular dental cleanings. When your teeth are cleaned, the hygienist is able to remove any plaque that may have built up and check for signs of gum disease. If caught early, gum disease can be controlled and treated to keep you from losing your teeth.
If you haven’t been visiting the dentist often and have noticed that your gums are red, bleeding, or swollen, you should make an appointment at Rush Creek Dentistry in Arlington to have your smile checked for gum disease as soon as possible.