When you think about your oral health, you probably think about your teeth and your smile. However, your gums are also an important component of a healthy mouth and healthy body. Experts estimate that almost half of American adults have some form of gum disease. The consequences of gum disease can range from the annoying (tooth sensitivity) to the serious (infection, tooth loss). To help protect your smile, our Willow Smiles Dentistry team wants to shed some light on gum disease.
How Does Gum Disease Develop?
Gum disease typically develops from poor oral hygiene. Your oral bacteria feed on the sugars and starches you consume to produce acid. Over time, acid and bacteria can build up in the form of plaque, a sticky microfilm. Without regular cleanings from brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar irritates the gums, can cause them to recede, and can lead to infection.
What Are the Consequences of Gum Disease?
If left untreated, gum disease can have a major impact on your smile. It can lead to swollen, painful, or red gums. As gums recede from your teeth, they expose sensitive material that may be more susceptible to decay. Infected gums can lead to tooth loss, jawbone loss, and even spread infection throughout your body.
How Can You Avoid Gum Disease?
Now it’s time for the good news: in most cases, gum disease may be treatable or even preventable. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you’ll need to follow a good oral hygiene routine at home. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss every day to prevent plaque from building up along your gum line. In addition, visit our Puyallup, WA office every six months or so for a professional cleaning.
Willow Smiles Dentistry Can Help You Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is no joke. To ask our team any questions about the consequences of gum disease or to schedule your next appointment at our office, call us today!