Is Gum Disease Worse Than Cavities?

When you go to the dentist you might be very excited to hear that you don’t have any cavities. For many patients, that sentence almost seems like a clean bill of health. But many patients overlook when their dental team tells them about signs of gum disease or recommends flossing advice. For one reason or another, many people do not put gum disease in the same category as dental cavities. Whether it is because cavities often have an immediate second appointment for dental fillings or because as kids cavities were one of the more common dental issues we all faced, many adult patients do not treat gum disease with the correct level of concern that it should garner. Gum disease can have serious impacts on your oral health and overall health. In this article, we will discuss how gum disease forms, how it is prevented, how it is treated, and how it can really harm your health. If you live in the Swampscott Massachusetts area and need to see a dentist, please give us a call. 

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a catchall term for a group of diseases that affect the gums. Periodontitis for example is a type of serious gum infection. If gum disease isn’t prevented or treated it can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease slowly destroys the bones that support your teeth and cause the teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. As gums are infected they pull away from the teeth and eventually lead to a variety of dental issues. Gum disease can also be linked to other health-related issues. Our mouths are one of the main ways bacteria and viruses can enter our bodies. Gum disease can weaken our immune systems and cause other health issues.  

How Do I Prevent Gum Disease?

Brush & Floss

On a daily basis your best tool for preventing oral health issues is brushing and flossing. Dentists recommend that you brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. A good recommendation is to make sure that when you brush and floss at night you don’t have any foods or beverages (other than water) before bed. This prevents food from sitting in your mouth overnight which can lead to dental decay and similar issues. 

See A Dentist

You can brush twice a day and floss every single night like clockwork, and it could still not be enough. Plaque and tartar can get to a point where they are impossible to remove with toothbrushes and floss. Sometimes they can get between the teeth or even below the gum line. Professional dental cleanings include scraping away plaque and tartar that cannot be removed at home. A quick dental visit provides the best solutions for gum disease and tooth decay. 

Avoid Irritants

Sugary foods or foods with high acidity can cause more dental damage than other foods. Moreover, tobacco products can cause serious dental issues. It is best to avoid tobacco in all forms because of the serious health risks associated with it. Additionally, you should moderate the amount of sugary or acidic foods in your diet and make sure to brush and floss after consuming foods or beverages that could put your gums and teeth at risk of disease. 

How Do Dentists Fix Gum Disease?

During a regular cleaning or check-up, your dentist will clean your teeth to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. However, if they notice the signs of these issues they might need to do more. At first, they might make recommendations about flossing at home or using fluoride toothpaste if the early signs of these issues are still reversible. In many cases, dental problems start small. With monitoring from your dentist and good oral care at home, they can be reversed before they become bigger issues. However, if the issue has already advanced, your dentist will recommend gum disease treatments. Gum disease treatments can include everything from taking antibacterial medications to deep cleanings that includes cleaning beneath the gums, to tissue grafting. 

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