February is Gum (Periodontal) Disease Prevention Month

Periodontitus affects half of Americans over the age of 30, according to research performed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means that over 64 million people in the U.S.A. alone have periodontitus, which is actually a form of periodontal disease that has advanced into a more serious stage.

How do I know I have Periodontal Disease?

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease that affects the gums. As the bacteria in the stage irritate and infect the gums, they become swollen and inflamed, turning the gums into a red, and even dark red or purple, color. What’s happening is your body is responding to the presence of the bacteria and is unable to remove it, so the condition worsens and periodontitis occurs.

In the stage of Periodontal Disease called Periodontitis, the gums are eaten away and destroyed by the presence of the bacteria. The gums start pulling away from the teeth and erode and the teeth eventually loosen and may even fall right out. The bone in your jaw that surrounds and protects your teeth may also be affected, reduced and weakened due to the disease.

The most advanced stage of Periodontal Disease is called Chronic Periodontitis. This stage is the most troublesome because of how advanced the condition is, as well as its tendency to come back. Regardless of what stage a patient is in, all forms are serious conditions and should not be taken lightly.

How do I prevent Periodontal Disease?

The best way to prevent Periodontal Disease is by brushing and flossing consistently every day. Brush at lease twice per day and floss at least once before bedtime. Always floss before you brush so you can loosen the debris between your teeth and then brush it all away when you brush your teeth.

You can help your children from having unnecessary gum and health problems as an adult by helping them establish a solid routine as a child. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis which is a great reason to start teaching children good habits while they are young. Many cases of these problems could have been avoided by maintaining a consistent approach to good dental hygiene.

Also, be sure to visit the dentist on your regularly scheduled dental appointments. If you are not on a regular schedule, get on one. Many studies indicate that patients spend much less money on their dental health in their lifetime by visiting the dentist on a routine basis, rather than only when a problem arises. Often, problems with gum disease, teeth falling out, root canals, dental crowns, fillings, and other issues can be avoided by following a consistent routine of brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist on scheduled appointments.

Please call us at 713-523-6848 to schedule your dental appointment. We are looking forward to caring for your dental health.