Posted .

Look to the person on your left. Now to the one on your right. Statistically, one of them has gum disease. And if it isn’t one of them, it may be you. One out of every two adults in the United States has some form of gum disease. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you don’t have to let it ruin your mouth and life.

How do you know if you have gum disease? Well, you may not know at first. In the early stages, you may not feel any effects, and only a trained dentist, like Dr. Terence Lau can spot the tell-tale symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may start to notice that you have bad breath, loose teeth and swollen or receding gums. Another good indicator is the presence of blood when you brush and floss. Are your gums bright red? You would think that red gums mean that they are healthy, but the unless you are photoshopping them before you leave in in the morning, your red gums indicate a problem. Healthy gums are pink, and if yours are red or blue, you need to see the dentist.

Gum disease can cause be caused by a wide array of things. A change in hormone levels can cause gum disease, as can stress, misaligned teeth, and even genetics. However, you can play a big role in preventing gum disease. Tobacco use can be a big factor in gum disease. However, the biggest contributor to gum disease is the presence of plaque and tartar on your teeth. And yes, no matter how well you brush, plaque forms on your teeth. It forms on everyone’s teeth, so don’t feel bad. But that plaque contains bacteria. The bacteria interacts with the sugar in your diet to create acids that cause tooth decay, but plaque also causes your gums to swell, and that allows more plaque to accumulate below your gumline. That in turn, gives the bacteria more room to cause problems for your mouth and your health. Gum disease can cost you your teeth and can lead to the deterioration of your jaw bone. There is also evidence that links gum disease respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, and may even contribute to dementia. It can also cause problems for people with diabetes, and make the symptoms of the disease worse.

Since gum disease can have no initial symptoms, you may not know you have until your dentist detects it during your regular cleanings and exams. This is just one of the reasons why you need to see the dentist for your routine visits. The dentist may suggest that you make some lifestyle changes when it comes to tobacco and alcohol; or you may just need to spend a more time and effort brushing and flossing. The dentist may also be able to treat your gum disease with a deep cleaning, or with antibiotics. Or you may require surgical treatments. If you are serious about preventing gum disease, the best thing you can do is stay up on your brushing and flossing. You need to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, and floss at least once a day. If you use tobacco, now will be a good time to quit.

Don’t wait until you are dealing with the severe side of gum disease in Northridge, California. For a cleaning and checkup, you can call Mid-Valley Dental Care at 818-886-3500 today.