When it comes to staying healthy, don’t forget about your oral health. Failure to practice good oral hygiene can result in serious problems. Unfortunately, gum disease is more common than people may think in the United States, and here are some things you should know about it.


The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque. Plaque is a buildup of bacteria on your teeth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, as recommended by the American Dental Association, plaque can build up and eventually turn to tartar. Bacteria from plaque can seep underneath your gum line and cause it to swell.


A typical symptom of gum disease is swollen red gums. In some cases, your gums may also feel sore and begin bleeding, especially when you brush your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you floss or eat hard, crunchy foods like apples or carrots.


Gum disease is one of the easiest health problems to prevent. According to the American Dental Association, people should brush and floss at least twice a day or after each meal. Doing so removes bacteria such as plaque and food particles from the spaces in between your teeth. You should also see your dentist at least twice a year. During a regular dental checkup, your dental practitioner will conduct a thorough professional cleaning of your teeth to get rid of any lingering plaque and tartar. Remember that it’s never too early to begin preventing oral health issues. According to What to Expect, parents should make their child’s first dental appointment within six months of their first tooth sprouting or when they turn one year old — whichever happens first.


The treatment you can receive once you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease depends on the severity of the issue. If you’re still in the early stages, something as simple as using an interdental toothbrush for better cleaning can help prevent the disease from progressing. Your dentist may also recommend you stop smoking. More serious cases can involve deep cleaning under the gum pockets, as well as gum surgery.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential for good health. Gum disease is highly preventable, so make sure that you practice good oral hygiene and pay regular visits to your local dental office. To keep up with your oral health, contact Tory Hill Dental today for an appointment.