Gum disease is a lot more common than you think. The CDC says that 50% of Americans over the age of 30 have some sort of gum disease. But the good news is that gum disease can be stopped and possibly fully recovered if caught early enough.
Gums? What’s That?
Let’s start with the basics! Your gums are the soft tissue above your teeth that cover the jaw bone, hold the teeth in your mouth, support your bones, and keep bacteria to a minimum. Gum disease occurs when bacteria isn’t properly cleaned out of the gum line, causing infection and in some cases, loss of teeth.
The Stages of Gum Disease
As gum disease goes untreated for longer, the effects are greater. There are three stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis: This is the beginning stages of gum disease, which occurs when your teeth’s plaque gives off toxins that irritate and inflame the gum tissue. If you are in this stage, you are most likely to reverse the gum disease through extra attention and thorough brushing and flossing.
Mild to Moderate Periodontitis: During this stage, the inflammation of gums will cause infection, which will deteriorate your gum tissue. The seal between your teeth and gums will also weaken, resulting in the formation of pockets.
Advanced Periodontitis: This is the most advanced form of gum disease. The pockets near your gums will continue to grow, and in the worst case, cause your teeth to fall out.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
The best way to ensure you’re preventing gum disease is to stop it from even starting. The best part is that preventing gum disease isn’t very different from what you’re already instructed to do. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, drink lots of water, avoid tobacco, and eat a healthy-balanced diet.