Do you know the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States?
If you said tooth decay, that is an understandable guess, but it’s not the right answer. The leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease.
This is why dentists encourage our patients to brush and floss their teeth on a daily basis. The more you do to care for your oral health, the less likely you are to lose teeth.
It’s important to care for your mouth every day, but this can be particularly important when you are pregnant. We’ll explain more in a minute.
For now, just keep in mind that Marineland Dental Care can help you prevent and treat gum disease. Our dentist office serves patients in and around Kennewick, WA.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, will affect around 80 percent of adults in the United States at some point in their lives.
Hopefully, you will only experience gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease.
We also hope you are following the American Dental Association’s recommendations to prevent oral health problems.
You may already be aware that bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease. These bacteria live in our mouths, which is why routine cleanings are needed to remove as many bacteria as possible.
Brushing twice each day with a fluoride toothpaste is the first thing you need to do. But it’s not enough. Brushing doesn’t clean between your teeth or remove bacteria or plaque buildup from under your gumline.
For this reason, you need to floss your teeth once every day, too. If you can’t or won’t use dental floss, try using another interdental cleaner like flossers (which have small handles with a piece of floss at the end) or water picks (which use a stream of water to clean between your teeth and gums).
You also need to visit our office a few times each year for professional cleanings. Our team will remove bacteria along with any plaque or tartar that has built in your mouth.
Understanding Your Risks
Anyone can develop gum disease. As with other diseases, some people are more likely to contract it than others.
Here are some of the factors that are known to increase your risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or using other tobacco products
- Family history
- Being a female going through hormonal changes
That last one includes puberty, menopause, and pregnancy. Experts estimate that around 40 percent of women will develop gingivitis when they are pregnant.
Your body produces more progesterone when you are pregnant. This hormone helps to produce the development of the fetus. That is a good thing.
The side effect is that it also makes it easier for the bacteria that cause gingivitis to grow.
The Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease
We noted above that gingivitis is considered a mild form of gum disease. The good news is that it can be stopped and even reversed with proper dental hygiene in many cases.
Here are the symptoms you may notice if you have gingivitis:
◼︎ Bleeding gums — This can occur while you are flossing your teeth (which may indicate that you are not flossing as frequently as you should) or when you a brushing your teeth.
◼︎ Red gums — This means your gums are redder than they normally appear.
◼︎ Swollen gums — This can be a direct result of the inflammation of your gum tissue.
If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into a more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
The symptoms of periodontitis are more severe, and this condition can only be treated with the help of dental professionals. If you experience these symptoms, please make an appointment with us:
◼︎ Gums that feel tender or sore
◼︎ Gums that pull away from your teeth (gum recession)
◼︎ Seeing pus between your teeth and gums
◼︎ Lingering bad breath
◼︎ A constant bad taste in your mouth
◼︎ Changes in how your teeth fit together
◼︎ Teeth that feel loose in your mouth
Here To Help
If you are pregnant, we want to offer our congratulations. Our team at Marineland Dental Care also wants to support you by helping you maintain your oral health during this time.
If you would like to schedule a cleaning and examination, you can fill out our online form or call 509-591-0515 to reach our dentist office in Kennewick, WA. We also hope to see and your baby in the future.