Although gum disease affects nearly 80% of adults in America and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, you might be glad to learn that the affliction is highly preventable. As a progressive illness, gum disease begins as a minor bacterial infection, which can be reversed so long as it’s detected and treated before the infection becomes full-blown gum disease.
Fortunately, protecting the integrity of your smile isn’t necessarily difficult. In fact, you can prevent gum disease with good hygiene and a little diligence.
The Development of Gum Disease
Dental plaque, which you may recognize as the sticky, colorless gunk that coats your teeth from time to time, is almost entirely comprised of myriad kinds of oral bacteria. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is designed to help you control this bacterial buildup.
However, if your hygiene routine is somewhat lacking and plaque is allowed to remain, the germs within can undergo processes that can lead to numerous dental diseases. In the case of your gums, some of these microbes release toxins that irritate and inflame your gums, causing gum recession and paving the way for gum disease.
What Are the Warning Signs?
Have you noticed pink in your sink when brushing and flossing your teeth? Because it rarely generates discomfort, some people believe that a little bleeding while brushing is normal. The truth, however, is that none of your oral tissues should bleed, ever, and if they do, then something is wrong.
Typically, bleeding is a sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, and is an indication that you should seek professional dental care immediately to prevent the onset of destructive gum disease.