The health of your gums doesn’t just affect your teeth and mouth; it also affects your entire body. That’s why taking proper care of your gums is so important. September is the month when dental care professionals come together to spread awareness about gum health and its link to your cardiovascular system and other areas of the body. Here is some information about gum health from the team at American Dental and some tips on how to keep your gums in great shape:
Gingivitis and Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
An estimated 47.2% of Americans over age 30 suffer from some degree of gum disease, and it’s an issue that can happen so gradually that you might not notice it at first. The early signs of gingivitis include gum sensitivity, swelling, and bleeding. As these symptoms get worse, they can progress into periodontitis, also known as gum disease. In this stage, the disease is characterized by gum recession that can expose tooth roots, infections, and more. As you get older, the risk of developing gum disease increases, with an estimated 70.1% of adults over age 65 suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis.
If you think that gum disease only affects your mouth, think again; it has a big impact on your other body systems as well. The medical community has recognized that inflammation from gum disease increases the likelihood that you will develop heart disease and high blood pressure, which puts you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. There may also be a link between gum disease and diabetes, irritable bowel disease, increased risk of complications from COVID-19 infections, and even mental health issues.
Preventing Gingivitis and Gum Disease
When it comes to avoiding gum disease, taking preventative measures is the best course of action. If you maintain a robust oral health routine, your chances of developing gingivitis are significantly decreased. This includes brushing twice per day, using floss once per day, using an American Dental Association-approved mouthwash, and visiting the dentist every 6 months.
If you are already starting to see symptoms of gingivitis, don’t worry; it’s never too late to start taking better care of your gums. Visit your dentist right away and start taking the steps listed above, and your symptoms should subside over time. If they don’t, continue checking in with your dentist to prevent your condition from progressing. If your gingivitis has already progressed into periodontitis, you may still be able to mitigate the disease and prevent any permanent damage by improving your oral healthcare routine immediately. Your dentist will be your strongest ally in this process, so don’t wait to make an appointment. If you experience swelling, bleeding, gum pain, tooth looseness, or tooth loss, schedule a dental checkup immediately to get on the path to healthier gums.
Affordable Dental Care in Chicago
If you are seeing symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease, it is crucial that you schedule a dental checkup right away, before your issues get any worse. If you are a Chicago area resident, American Dental has 8 different locations to assist you. Call us at (773) 284-1645 or click the “Make an Appointment” button if you need affordable dental services in River West Chicago or anywhere else in Chicagoland. This Gum Care Month, make a commitment to your gum health and schedule an appointment at American Dental today!