Gums are often overlooked when contemplating oral health. If you brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly, you’re likely concerned about preventing cavities and other dental problems, but you might not think about your gums unless they become swollen or inflamed. However, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common health issues. Even those with good oral hygiene habits can be susceptible to this problem. From tooth loss to health issues like diabetes or heart disease, the concerns associated with gum disease are serious. Understanding why taking care of your gums is an essential part of your oral health. If you’re concerned about the early warning signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Parisa Parizadeh and Dr. Michael Hsu at Columbia Smiles for a periodontal assessment.
The Importance of Healthy Gums
Unhealthy gums can be painful. Swelling, bleeding, and sensitivity are just a few of the symptoms that typically accompany gum disease. Aside from the pain associated with periodontal issues, there are a number of other reasons why gum health is important.
1. Gum Disease Can Lead to Tooth Loss
Without treatment, gum disease can cause tooth loss. The gums provide structure and support for the teeth, keeping them in place. Advanced periodontitis will cause the structure of the teeth to break down by introducing a host of bad bacteria.
2. Problems with Your Gums Can Contribute to Serious Health Issues
There is a strong correlation between gum disease and serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and issues in pregnancy. While this correlation may in part be due to an individual’s overall habits, it’s clear that the inflammation that comes with gum disease is bad for your health. Taking care of your teeth and gums can help you stay healthy.
3. Periodontal Disease Causes Bad Breath
Excess bacteria in the mouth contributes to persistent bad breath. If you notice that your breath doesn’t smell fresh even after brushing your teeth, gum disease could be the culprit.
4. Healthy Gums Improve Your Smile
Gum disease can cause your gums to become inflamed, swollen, and red. They can also begin to recede without treatment, which will dramatically affect the look of your smile. While the health issues associated with periodontal disease are severe, even the aesthetic concerns can be enough to cause some individuals to reach out for periodontal treatment.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease involves a few simple steps:
- Good oral hygiene
- Watching what you eat and drink
- Regular visits to your dentist
The early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can actually be reversed with early intervention. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating the gums. Floss to remove food particles that might be trapped between the teeth or under the gums. Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams to remove stubborn plaque. And avoid sugary foods and beverages, which can create a perfect environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. Incorporating foods rich in vitamins C and D and calcium can also promote healthy gums, so add in fresh fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, and dairy when possible.
Periodontal Treatment from Columbia Smiles
For professional periodontal treatment in a comfortable environment, reach out to Columbia Smiles. Our team, led by Dr. Parisa Parizadeh and Dr. Michael Hsu, ensure that every patient who walks through our door receives top-quality personalized care. Schedule an appointment and discover why Howard County residents have trusted Columbia Smiles for family dentistry for more than 35 years—contact us at 410.690.4855 or reach out online today.