Gum disease is a common oral health problem, yet one of the easiest to avoid. Despite this, many people will, at some point, develop gingivitis – the mildest form of gum disease – and experience symptoms such as:
- Red or swollen gum tissue
- Gums that bleed easily
- Recurrent bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth that will not respond to brushing
These gum disease symptoms should prompt an immediate call to Hayward family dentist Dr. Gary Fong. When treated at this stage, advanced oral and systemic health problems can easily be avoided.
Advanced Gum Disease
When gingivitis is left untreated it can quickly progress into periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. At this stage, receding gums, loose teeth, and chronic, untreatable bad breath are common. Allowed to further progress, tooth loss will be unavoidable and bone necrosis and jaw shrinkage will be quick to follow.
Periodontitis also comes with serious health risks. Chronic periodontitis is a known risk factor for many types of cancer including pancreatic and breast, kidney and liver failure, memory loss and dementia, and heart attack and stroke. Additional dangers are present in pregnant women and diabetics with this advanced form of gum disease. This is why it is always best to contact our Hayward family dentistry office at the first sign of an oral health problem.
Preventing Gum Disease
While gum disease is common, it is also incredibly easy to prevent. First and foremost, do not smoke. Smokers are four-times more likely to develop gum disease, even if they have a solid daily oral hygiene routine.
In addition to not smoking, you can prevent gum disease by:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal and for at least two minutes each both morning and night
- Flossing both morning and night
- Using an antimicrobial and antibacterial mouthwash
- Visiting our office every six months for professional cleanings and examinations
If you have restorations such as porcelain veneers or same-day dental crowns, you may need to watch which mouthwash you use. Some astringent options can weaken the bonding used to hold these restorations in place. Dr. Fong can discuss this with you as needed during your routine visits to our office.
If you are overdue for a professional cleaning, call Hayward family dentist Dr. Gary Fong at 510-582-8727 to schedule your next appointment right away and help protect yourself from the oral and systemic health dangers of gum disease.