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Thurm Dental Group
925 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108

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dentist showing proper gum care

Gum Care Awareness

dentist showing proper gum care

Are you aware that September is Gum Care Awareness Month? Although it’s not as well known as other awareness months, it’s important to raise awareness about the essential role of gum health. Your gums play an important role in the health of your mouth and your overall health, and they require the same attention and care as your teeth.

If you don’t properly care for your gums, it’s possible to develop gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is the contributing factor of tooth loss in people who are over the age of 35. In addition to the damage periodontal disease causes to your gums, teeth, and supportive structures, the disease can also harm your physical health, increasing your risk of serious health problems like stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

But what exactly is gum disease, and how do you know if you have gum disease? What are the treatment options for gum disease? Can gum disease be prevented? What can you do to achieve healthier teeth and gums? Keep reading as we explore the answers to these questions about gum disease and more.

Gum Disease Signs and Symptoms

Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissue of your gums and other tissues that support and surround your teeth. It’s a progressive disease that worsens over time if not treated, and in the early stages of the disease, you may not even know that you have gum disease. That’s why it’s important to know what the symptoms of gum disease look like, which can help you receive treatment as soon as possible. Take a look at these common symptoms of gum disease:

  • Puffy, red gums that look swollen
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Sensitive gums
  • Bad breath or a chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from your teeth
  • Advanced stages of gum disease include these symptoms:
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Areas of infection at the base of your gums

Take care of yourself and your gums. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Collingswood today for your cleaning and checkup. 

How Do You Get Gum Disease?

If you have poor dental hygiene, you’re at a higher risk of gum disease. This is because of the bacteria present in plaque, a colorless coating that feels sticky on your teeth. Plaque develops on your teeth daily, but you can remove this film of bacteria by brushing and flossing every day. Bacterial plaque attacks tooth enamel and gum tissue, causing them to break down.

If you don’t brush and floss daily to remove plaque, it quickly hardens into a yellow substance called tartar. Tartar develops along your gum line and makes it difficult to properly clean your teeth and gums. You can’t remove tartar on your own, and your dental professional uses special tools to remove tartar from your teeth and along the gum line. If not removed, the accumulation of tartar and bacteria inflames and irritates your gums further, causing you to experience gum disease symptoms.

Take care of yourself and your gums. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Collingswood today for your cleaning and checkup. 

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease, and How Are They Treated?

The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. During this early stage of the disease, you’ll likely experience bleeding when you’re brushing or flossing, but most people don’t experience any pain. Fortunately, gingivitis is completely reversible when diagnosed and treated before progressing further. For many people with gingivitis, receiving a professional cleaning from your dentist to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and along the gum line is the recommended treatment. You’ll also have to follow a strict oral care regimen at home by brushing and flossing daily.

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease. As gingivitis progresses, pockets form between the teeth and gums. These spaces can get filled with plaque, particles of food, and more bacteria, causing an infection. Without treatment, the infection can damage the bones, gum tissue, and other supporting structures. A procedure that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, known as scaling and root planing, is a common treatment for periodontitis.

Advanced periodontitis is the third stage of gum disease. At this advanced stage, the infection has spread to the point of causing permanent damage to the bones and tissues that support the teeth. This causes your teeth to shift in place, loosen, or even completely fall out. Although advanced periodontitis is a serious concern, it’s still treatable by a dental specialist. Oral surgery, including invasive procedures like tissue grafts, bone grafts, or tissue regeneration are procedures your dental professional can perform to repair damaged bone and supporting tissues.

What Are the Complications of Gum Disease?

Gum disease worsens without treatment, and it can cause serious complications for your entire body if you don’t receive treatment from a dental professional. It’s important to receive treatment as soon as you can if you suspect that you have gum disease. As your partner in dental health, your dentist in Collingswood cares about your dental health and will work with you to design an effective treatment plan. We’ll also provide you with the tools you need to improve your daily dental routine at home to help you take better care of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

Following a basic daily dental care routine is the best way to care for your teeth and gums while also reducing the chances of gum disease developing. Make sure that you’re flossing once a day at a minimum and brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. Seeing your dentist twice a year for exams and professional cleanings is also important.

Prioritize Your Gum Health

We hope that providing information about gum disease has motivated you to take charge when it comes to protecting your dental health. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, your dentist in Collingswood can provide the treatment needed to improve the health of your gums and teeth. Schedule your appointment today to get started on the journey toward a healthier mouth.

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Thurm Dental Group

925 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108

(856) 335-1775