I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Just as high blood pressure and heart attacks go hand-in-hand, so do gum disease and tooth decay. Gum disease is often overlooked, but in fact, it can lead to tooth decay and even missing teeth if left untreated. Good oral health starts with healthy gums, so make sure you know these facts about gum disease to protect yourself.
It's caused by bacteria.
There are always bacteria in your mouth. When they're present in small numbers, they don't cause any real damage. However, when they start to proliferate, they can cause damage to your gum tissues. The symptoms of gum disease, including the redness, swelling, and bleeding, are caused by the presence of these bacteria and your immune system's response to them.
There are several habits that may cause these bacteria to increase in number, leading to gum disease. Eating too much sugar feeds the bacteria, which encourages them to replicate. Failing to brush your teeth or floss between them often enough also leaves the bacteria in place, allowing them to increase in number.
You can treat it yourself if you catch it early.
The early signs of gum disease are subtle, so they are often overlooked by patients. If you notice any bleeding after brushing, soreness when you touch certain areas on your gums, or redness, you likely have the beginnings of gum disease. Act quickly, and you will probably not require professional treatment. Start brushing and flossing more thoroughly, and rinse your mouth out with an antiseptic mouthwash after each brushing session. You can also rinse with saltwater a few times per day. The salt water will help keep levels of bacteria down, eliminating the infection.
Serious cases require professional dental care.
If you allow gum disease to progress, you may start to develop pockets between your teeth and gums. Once it gets to this level of severity, there's little you can do for the condition at home. Your dentist will need to clean beneath your gums to remove bacteria. Then, they may perform a surgical procedure to eliminate the pockets in your gums so they don't continue to trap bacteria. In some cases, you may be prescribed antibiotic pills or an antibiotic gel. These medications will reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, helping your body to fight the infection.
Gum disease often develops as a precursor to serious tooth decay and other dental problems. Practice good oral hygiene to protect yourself, and remember to take action quickly if you suspect you may be developing some gum trouble. Visit a site like http://www.thefamilydentist-lakeland.com to set up an appointment with your dentist.