When many people think about their dental care they immediately think of teeth and smiles. But there’s another huge part of dentistry that can not only affect your oral health but your overall health, too — your gums. At our dental office in Madison, we take gum health seriously, and for good reason. Poor gum health can lead to gum disease which can be very serious.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, which can also be referred to as periodontal disease, is an infection in the gum tissue. There are different stages to gum disease that describe how severe the condition is. Gingivitis is early-stage gum stage and periodontitis is more severe, advanced gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
Gum Disease and Overall Health
Your gums can tell your dentist in Madison all sorts of information about your oral health and they just may indicate other potential problems throughout the body. In fact, symptoms affecting the gums have been linked to several serious health concerns such as strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Signs of Gum Disease
Catching and treating gum disease early is the best way to keep it from affecting the rest of the body. That’s one reason seeing your dentist at least every six months is so important. You should also be on the lookout for some of the most common signs of gum disease in-between visits. Some potential signs of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist as soon as possible. Your dental team will see exactly what’s going on and make the best gum disease treatment recommendation for you.
There are things you can do to keep your gums healthy and protect yourself against gum disease.
- Floss every day
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Quit smoking
- See your dentist regularly
It’s important to know that gum disease may not always show symptoms, so make sure you visit our Madison dental office twice a year to keep yourself protected. If it’s been longer than six months since your last appointment, call us to schedule one today.