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dentist caring for patient's gums

Gum Care Awareness

dentist caring for patient's gums

How Important Is Good Gum Health?

 September is Gum Care Awareness month, and its objective is to enlighten people about the importance of good gum health to their overall physical health. If your gums aren’t healthy, your body won’t be healthy because the bacteria that cause inflammation and infection in your gums will be carried via the bloodstream to the rest of your body, including your major organs. Statistics have verified a correlation between good overall health and good dental health. Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in Americans who are 35 and older.

Ready for your next dental cleaning and check up? Call today for your appointment!

How Do I Ensure I Have Healthy Gums?

You don’t need any equipment other than what you probably have, and you don’t need any specialized procedures. To have healthy gums, you need:

  • A good toothbrush with soft bristles that’s size-appropriate for your mouth
  • Quality toothpaste
  • Dental floss as picks, a flosser, or traditional floss
  • Mouthwash is optional, but recommended 

In addition to the above, you should also have regular dental exams and cleanings. An annual exam and cleaning are the minimum, but semi-annual exams and cleanings are optimal. No matter the quality of your daily hygiene routine, your dentist can spot minor issues before they escalate. We recommend an oral cancer screening during your exam to ensure the best gum health possible.

If you think you might have gum disease, be sure to schedule a dental exam without delay. When gum disease, known as gingivitis, is caught early, it can be stopped, and any damage can be reversed. If the disease progresses, however, any damage is irreversible and the treatment is more aggressive and invasive. So don’t ignore the signs of gum disease. Seek dental treatment without delay.

How Will I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Gum disease doesn’t usually present asymptomatically. If you have it, you’ll notice one or more of the following signs:

  • Areas of infection or irritation at the base of your gums or teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Eroding gums
  • Loosened teeth
  • Pus or infection between your teeth
  • Red, swollen, or sensitive gums

Any of the above can indicate the presence of gum disease or another dental issue that needs to be addressed promptly. If you notice any of the above, schedule a dental appointment without delay.

What Will Happen If I Have Gum Disease?

During your appointment, your dentist will examine your gums to determine if you have gum disease or another issue. They’ll determine the stage of gum disease, if that’s the problem, and work with you on a course of treatment. They’ll also provide methods for preventing recurrence, so be sure to ask if you have questions about gum disease or its prevention.

We’re ready to perform your next dental cleaning and exam! Schedule your appointment today at our South Hampton Roads office.

How Many Stages of Gum Disease Are There?

 There are three stages of gum disease, but only the first stage of gingivitis is curable, and it’s only during the gingivitis stage that damage can be reversed. By the time gum disease reaches the stages of periodontal disease, you’ll have incurred permanent damage that’s irreversible. The three stages of gum disease are:

  • Gingivitis: This is the first stage and normally is characterized by minor bleeding when you brush or floss. It’s caused by a buildup of tartar on the gum line. Tartar irritates the gums, inflammation begins, and then infection. At this point, your dentist can reverse any damage and stop the spread of the disease. They’ll also provide tips on improving your oral hygiene regimen.
  • Periodontitis: This is the second stage of gum disease and is caused by ignoring the first stage of gingivitis. The tartar buildup on your teeth will have damaged the bones and tissues in your gums and loosened your teeth. You may have lost teeth at this stage. Treatment is available, but it’s more invasive than the treatment for gingivitis, and reconstructive dentistry is the only way to repair the damage that has been done.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: This is the third and final stage of gum disease. By this time, the bones and tissues in your jaws will have been destroyed, and you’ll have lost facial structure and your teeth. Invasive treatment is the only solution to restore functionality to your mouth and jaw, and the treatment takes considerable time. The damage, however, is irreversible.

It’s unfortunate that all this can be prevented simply by exercising good oral hygiene. To prevent the onset of advanced gum disease, be sure to maintain a program of good oral hygiene that includes regular dental exams and cleanings.

Other Developments From Gum Disease

As if the above wasn’t enough, gum disease has been linked to several severe health conditions, such as the following:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke

Whatever is in your mouth will ultimately be in the rest of your body, including disease and inflammation, because the tissues in your mouth are very permeable and thin, so everything is transported throughout the body. When you have bacteria from gum disease, it’s carried to the major organs and causes many serious health problems. So for the best physical health, keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and disease-free.

If You Have Gum Disease…

If you have gum disease or you think you might, then call Konikoff Dental Associates at to schedule an appointment with one of our South Hampton Roads dentists. Your dentist is your best ally in your efforts to maintain a healthy mouth and healthy body. We also recommend an oral cancer screening during your exam. The exam is painless and non-invasive, but it can help prevent the spread of oral cancer.

Be attentive to the signs and symptoms you get from your mouth. If you have any problems, call us today to schedule an appointment.

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