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Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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By North Park Family Dental
May 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Discover the best strategies for preventing and treating gum disease.

Gum disease is one of the most common oral disorders to affect US adults, and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. Unfortunately, many people may have gum disease and not even know it. By maintaining good oral health and visiting our Grand Rapids, MI, dentist Dr. Robert Dame every six months for checkups, you can ensure that your gums remain healthy and happy.

Preventing Gum Disease

Our Grand Rapids, MI, general dentist promotes preventive dentistry, which provides patients with the proper care they need in order to prevent issues from happening in the first place. Keeping your gums healthy doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are some simple measures you can take to reduce your risk for gum disease:

  • Quit smoking or avoid smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Limit sugar intake
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Brush your teeth twice a day (in the morning and at night before bed)
  • Make sure you are brushing your teeth, and along the gumline, for 2-3 minutes
  • Floss every day
  • Visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups

It’s also important to be aware that hormonal fluctuations or taking certain medications can also increase your risk for developing gum disease. Patients taking antidepressants, heart medications, and oral contraception, as well as women who are pregnant or going through menopause, may want to consider visiting their dentist more regularly for checkups.

Treating Gum Disease

While it isn’t always possible to tell whether you have gum disease or not, it is vital that you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you notice:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Swollen, red, and inflamed gums
  • Tender or painful gums
  • Receding gums (teeth will appear longer than usual)
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sudden or increased tooth sensitivity
  • Chronic and unexplained bad breath

These could all be warning signs of gum disease, so the sooner you seek a diagnosis from a dental professional the better. During the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, the inflammation is minor enough that it can actually be reversed with the proper treatment and lifestyle modifications.

However, if you do have full-blown periodontal disease, one of the most common treatment options for managing symptoms, improving the appearance of your gums and preventing complications such as tooth loss is a simple procedure known as scaling and root planing.

Scaling and root planing is a very deep cleaning that involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from teeth, under the gums, and even the roots of the teeth to prevent inflammation.

Whether you suspect that you might have gum disease or it’s just time to schedule a cleaning, don’t hesitate to turn to the experts at North Park Family Dental in Grand Rapids, MI, for dental care.

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