September is National Gum Care Month and a great time to reiterate the importance of gum health after a summer full of treats and inconsistent schedules! Although we often talk about your teeth, your gums are actually the foundation of your oral health so without healthy gums, you could experience tooth loss.
Gums, known as gingivae in the dental world, refer to the soft tissue that surrounds your teeth. The job of your gums is to act as a protective barrier to stop harmful bacteria from entering your body and hold your teeth in place. There are two common types of gum disease that occurs:
Gingivitis - this is when your gums are inflamed and red and can be sensitive
Periodontitis - this is a more severe form of gum disease which can cause tooth loss
Gingivitis can be easily reversible with the right treatment. If left untreated it becomes periodontitis, where issues are more serious and you may need more comprehensive treatments by a gum specialist, known as a Periodontist.
It is important to understand the signs of gum disease so that you can spot the symptoms early before it gets too severe. Signs may include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and receding gums.
If you visit our Arlington dental office regularly, our experienced doctors will be able to spot early signs of gum disease and give you some advice on how to tackle these issues and give your gums a deep clean. If you haven’t seen the dentist for a while, it’s important not to ignore these symptoms as it could cause tooth loss if untreated. According to the American Dental Association, 42% of adults in the US suffer from periodontitis so it’s far more common than you may think!
Your journey to a brighter, healthier smile begins with making an appointment with your Rosslyn dentist. Dr. Greg LaVecchia and his team will evaluate your oral health needs and develop a treatment plan that you are happy with to improve your gum and teeth health.
In the meantime, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and stick to a diet that is low in sugar and high in nutrients. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your gum health, so if you smoke we can provide you with helpful resources to help you start your journey to quit.
We look forward to serving you and your family at our conveniently located Rosslyn dental practice. If you are concerned about your gum health, please mention it to our dental hygiene team at your next visit!