Unfortunately, gum disease is endemic in our society, especially among adults. About half of those 30 years of age and older exhibit signs of periodontal disease, and almost 10 percent suffer from severe forms of the condition, according to the CDC. It’s the most common reason for tooth loss among adults.
Our periodontist at Russell D. Hatfield, DDS, MS, Ltd educates our patients about the risk factors for gum disease, and offers some tips for lowering the chances of having it. Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, with years of training in procedures that restore the look, feel, and function of the gums.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include red, swollen or bleeding gums, changes in your bite, or loose teeth. Besides age, among the risk factors are poor nutrition or obesity; some medications including antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and some heart medicines; stress that lowers the body’s ability to fight infections; tobacco use; grinding or clenching your teeth; and a genetic predisposition for this condition.
Want to lower your risk for developing a gum-related infection? It’s simple, but you’ve got to be consistent. Brush and floss your teeth (and in between them!) after meals to remove bacteria and food particles, and don’t forget to clean your tongue — a sneaky hiding place for bacteria. Follow that with a swish of mouthwash; there are plenty of “natural” and alcohol-free mouthwashes for those so inclined. And, see our periodontist for an annual evaluation. We are uniquely trained to spot the factors that can lead to gum disease.
Periodontal disease can hide below the gum line, making it painful and expensive to treat if it’s not diagnosed in the early stages. A comprehensive evaluation by our periodontist at Russell D. Hatfield, DDS, MS, Ltd will ensure this critical area of your oral health is optimally cared for. Please don’t hesitate to call our office today to schedule an examination and consultation.