Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum. This inflammation is caused by the same oral bacterial that is responsible for tooth decay and bad breath. When gum disease occurs, it can lead to major issues with the appearance and health of the gums as well as the health of your teeth and jawbone.
The team at our Philadelphia restorative dentistry center would like to consider the stages of gum disease and then briefly note how poor oral health can contribute to gum disease. We'll also offer a few simple tips to keep your gums as healthy as possible.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages of gum disease. Listed from least sever to most severe, they are as follows:
Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. Its common signs and symptoms include bad breath, discoloration of the gums, irritation of the gums, and bleeding gums.
Periodontitis – The next stage of gum disease leads to more serious health problems of the gum tissue. This could include sore gums, swollen gums, gum recession, chronic bad breath, loose teeth, and changes in tooth alignment.
Advanced Periodontitis – The most advanced stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, bone loss in the jaw, and the spread of infection to the other structures of your mouth.
Problems from Not Brushing and Flossing Enough
Regular brushing and flossing are essential for good oral hygiene and a healthy smile. If you do not brush and floss enough, food particles remain on your teeth, allowing oral bacteria to thrive. Ideally you should be brushing and flossing regularly everyday in order to keep your teeth as clean as possible.
This is common sense, and it's something you have lots of control over. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a night. Ideally you should consider brushing and flossing after every meal.
Issues with Smoking and Tobacco Products
Smoking and the use of any tobacco products is bad for your overall health. It should come as no surprise that tobacco products can lead to an increased risk of periodontal disease. Studies have found that people who use tobacco products may be two to three times more likely to suffer from gum disease when compared to people who do not smoke or use chewing tobacco.
We cannot stress this enough: this is a great reason to quit for good. Consider quitting to add years to your life and to preserve the beauty of your smile. We can direct you to various resources that can help make this a reality.
Poor Diet and Drinking Habits
You are what you eat, and what you drink. If you eat a lot of unhealthy foods and drink sugary sodas, you're more likely to suffer from tooth decay and gum disease. Nutritional deficiencies can also affect gum health and overall appearance of your smile. Similarly, being dehydrated can increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and acidic enamel erosion.
Be sure to eat a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink water throughout the day to help stay hydrated and to keep your mouth fresh.
Learn More About Periodontal Health
For more information about improving your dental health and wellness and enhancing the appearance of your smile, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.