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Gum Care Awareness Month

woman with healthy gums

September Is Gum Care Awareness Month

 To many, gum care is just something that happens. It’s not something they’re concerned with for themselves. However, good gum care is as essential to your good oral health as brushing your teeth is to reducing cavities. Taking good care of your gums is an easy but effective way to take good care of your oral health as well as your overall health.

Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults who are 35 and older, and gum disease has been linked to several serious health diseases, such as:

  1. Cancer
  2. Cardiovascular Disease
  3. Dementia
  4. Diabetes
  5. Hypertension
  6. Stroke

 The tissues and membranes in your mouth are very permeable, so anything that’s in your mouth, including bacteria, is carried by the bloodstream to all other areas of your body, including your major organs. Since gum disease is the result of bacterial inflammation, your organs can become inflamed and diseased.

Schedule your appointment today! Getting regular dental cleanings is vital to your gum health.

How Do I Keep My Gums Healthy?

If you have good oral health, you probably have healthy gums. However, the ADA recommends the following:

  • Brush and floss at least twice daily, preferably after each meal or snack
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that’s the correct size
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least daily

 All your dental products should carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure that you’re using a quality product. Whether you use traditional dental floss, a floss pick, or a flosser doesn’t matter; neither does your choice of either regular or alcohol-free mouthwash. By eliminating as many bacteria as possible from your mouth, you reduce the likelihood of developing gum disease.

If you brush only twice daily, one time should be just before bedtime. Be sure to brush your tongue because its rough surface harbors lots of bacteria, which can readily transfer to your gums and start gum disease. Before bedtime is an ideal time to use an antibacterial mouthwash to eliminate any residual bacteria.

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Usually, gum disease starts with minor bleeding when you brush or floss. However, there are other symptoms, so if you notice any of the following seven symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist:

  1. Bad breath or an odd taste in your mouth
  2. Gums that are receding from your teeth
  3. Inflamed or swollen areas on your gums
  4. Infection or pus between your teeth
  5. Loose teeth or unusual spaces between your teeth
  6. Minor bleeding when you brush or floss
  7. Swollen, red, or sensitive gums

 If you have any or all of the above, you may have gum disease or another problem, but you should see your dentist right away. Detecting gum problems early provides the best prognosis, so don’t delay if you have issues.

Gum disease can be serious, so don’t delay in contacting your dentist in Hudson Valley if you need treatment. Call today for more information.

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?

 Gum disease has three stages, and they are as follows:

  1. Gingivitis: The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and it usually begins due to poor oral hygiene. Even if you normally have good oral hygiene, but you miss a couple of days, that can be enough time for gingivitis to start. When detected at the beginning stage, gum disease can be cured, and any damage can be reversed. If you notice minor bleeding or any of the other seven symptoms during your oral hygiene regimen, you probably have gingivitis. Since it’s easily cured at this point, don’t delay in seeking prompt dental treatment, and ask your dentist for suggestions on how to prevent its recurrence.
  2. Periodontitis: The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis, and it occurs because gingivitis wasn’t treated. Periodontitis permanently and irreparably damages your gums and jaw, and it can’t be cured. Damage can be repaired, and the progression of the disease can be halted, but you’ll still have periodontitis. Treatments for periodontitis include antibiotics, root planing, and professional scaling, but they’ll only halt the progression of the disease. Although a degree of functionality can be restored, you’ll need oral surgery or reconstructive dentistry to regain the full use of your teeth and gums. Even if you’re in this stage of gum disease, you shouldn’t ignore it, or it will escalate to advanced periodontitis.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis: The third and final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. If your gum disease has progressed to this point, you’ll have incurred irreparable damage to your teeth, gums, and facial structure. The ligaments that secure your teeth will be destroyed, and you’ll have lost most or all of your teeth. Your facial structure may appear to have melted, and reconstructive dentistry or oral surgery are the only solutions for restoring function and aesthetics to your gums and teeth. Your surgical options may include bone grafts and other expensive and invasive procedures to restore functionality and structural integrity to your face and jaw.

 Unfortunately, many people come to dentists every day in the third stage of gum disease. Their lives have been adversely impacted both now and in the future. Don’t be among these statistics. Make an appointment with your dentist to keep your gums and teeth in good health for the rest of your life.

Need to Schedule a Dental Appointment?

 If you need a dental appointment for your annual checkup and cleaning, for an oral cancer screening, or for any other dental procedure, then call Family Dental Group at and let us help you. We recommend that everyone who is 18 and older get an oral cancer screening. The incidence of oral cancer is rising rapidly, and since it presents asymptomatically, you won’t know you have it until it has spread. The screening isn’t painful or invasive. Your dentist will screen during the exam, but it should be part of your dedication to good gum health.

Our dentists are some of the best in the area for providing preventative dental care, so don’t delay calling us to schedule an appointment.

Call us today. You’ll be glad you did.

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