Did you know that you have a huge number of bacteria in your mouth right now? It may be a little hard to think about it, but there are millions of bacteria swimming around in your mouth. Most of the bacteria in your mouth aren’t hurting anyone. Some bacteria, however, if they are allowed to hang out in your mouth for a long time, will start to cause problems, especially if you aren’t brushing or flossing regularly. Gum disease is a serious disease caused by bacteria that could eventually cause you to lose your teeth. Let Spektor Dental take a minute to tell you about gum disease, and how to avoid it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of your gums. When you aren’t brushing and flossing regularly, the bacteria in the form of plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens. When that happens, you can’t brush it off. It becomes a shell-like substance called tartar. That hardened bacteria cause all sorts of problems for your gums. It makes them sore and inflamed in the early stages of gum disease. Later stages of the disease mean that spaces open up between your teeth and gums where infection can hide. If the infection is severe enough, you will lose your teeth because there will be nothing to hold them in your jaw.
Are Some People More Prone to Gum Disease?
Smoking is the greatest risk factor for gum disease, because of the nature of cigarette smoke itself. Smoking seems to make gums more difficult to treat for the disease. Also, smokers have more plaque and chemicals in their mouths than non-smokers, which could cause problems for gum health. People who have diabetes are also more at risk for gum disease. If you take medications for allergies or asthma, you are at a higher risk for gum disease, because those medications may dry out your mouth. Dry mouths encourage the formation of bacteria. There are some people who get the disease without any risk factors at all.
How Can I Take Care of My Gums?
There are lots of things you can do to make sure your gums stay healthy. First, you need to make sure that you are brushing and flossing twice a day. This is the best way to prevent plaque from sticking to your teeth and gums and causing problems. Second, come and visit us twice a year. If there is any plaque or tartar on your gums, we will be able to get it off. We might also be able to offer you tips for brushing and flossing. If you do have the beginnings of gum disease, we can help you treat it. Also, if you smoke, you may want to think about quitting. Smoking is the number one risk factor for gum disease.
Are you worried about gum disease? If you are, why not give Spektor Dental a call at (425) 247-3629. We would love to talk to you about ways to save your teeth and gums. We can offer cleaning tips and ways to take great care of your gums. Call us today!