A study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology suggests that individuals with gum disease have a higher risk of suffering severe symptoms related to COVID-19. This is due to the link between inflamed gums and the body’s inflammatory response.
Therefore, taking care of your gums could be more crucial now than ever. More than half of American adults suffer from gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue also known as periodontal disease. Though common, people do not realize that this infection will spread and cause major dental damage, including tooth loss, if you do not seek prompt treatment.
Continue visiting your dentist for routine care and tell them about any periodontal concerns as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about gum disease symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Do I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease will start with gingivitis, the initial stage that presents with inflammation of the gum tissue. At this point of the infection, many patients might see swelling, soreness, and bleeding in their gums. These symptoms can occur for acute reasons like harsh teeth brushing, but if they persist, they could point to gum disease.
Advanced gum disease can come with bad breath, tooth discoloration, and receding gums. But not all patients will experience noticeable symptoms if they have gum disease. This is why visiting your dentist for check-ups is so important.
A dentist can spot gum disease that you did not know was there. They provide periodontal disease screenings at your routine oral exam, so make sure you attend these appointments.
How Does My Dentist Treat Gum Disease?
Your dentist can begin treating gum disease as soon as they diagnose it. They will first thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, especially deep in the gum pockets. This cleaning method, called scaling and root planing, will get rid of plaque and excess bacteria to stop the infection.
It is easier to treat in its earlier stages, so do not delay this periodontal therapy. It will not go away on its own, so call your dentist to find expert care for your gums before it hurts your smile.
Your dentist might also employ antibiotic therapy to get rid of gum disease. They apply an antibacterial product directly to the damaged tissue to kill excess bacteria. An antibacterial mouthwash used at home can also balance bacteria in your mouth and keep infections at bay.
How Can I Keep My Gums Healthy?
Some patients have a higher propensity for gum problems, so work with your dentist to determine a preventative dentistry plan that suits your unique needs. You can lower the risk of gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene.
This will involve brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing on a daily basis. Make sure you visit your dentist for routine oral cleanings and exams too to maximize this care. Consult with your dentist to learn how changes in your lifestyle, diet, and more can help you protect your gums.