Are you ignoring gum disease?

August 18, 2017 by Julie Davis, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Going to the dentist might not be a favorite on your to-do list, but these check-ups are important not only for your teeth, but also for your gums.

Gum disease, or gingivitis, can be difficult to catch. And it can lead to the more severe problem of periodontitis.

Of concern, periodontitis has been associated with more serious , such as and diabetes, all of which share a common link—inflammation, explain experts at the American Academy of Periodontology.

Certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices make you more susceptible to . If you smoke, take medications that lead to dry mouth, have poor nutrition, or experience high stress, you're more likely to develop gingivitis. If unhealthy gums run in your family or if you already have heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, you're also at higher risk.

It's important to know your risk level because most people don't experience symptoms until their 30s or 40s, when the disease might already be at an advanced stage.

Warning signs of are bad breath that won't go away; red, swollen, sensitive or receding gums or gums that bleed easily; and sensitive or loose teeth that make chewing difficult.

To lower your risk of gum disease, brush your teeth and tongue after every meal. Floss at least once a day. And make a habit of using mouthwash to remove the bacteria that brushing and flossing miss.

Also, be sure to go for regular dental check-ups. If your dentist spots early signs of gum trouble, a visit to a gum specialist—a periodontist—might be needed for treatment.

Explore further: Investigators chart microbial ecology of gingivitis, periodontitis

More information: To learn more about the different types of gum disease, visit the American Academy of Periodontology.

Related Stories

Investigators chart microbial ecology of gingivitis, periodontitis

August 12, 2016
Gingivitis, a common and mild form of gum disease can progress to periodontitis, a more serious infection that damages the soft tissue of the gums and sometimes even destroys the bone supporting the teeth. An international ...

Recreational cannabis, used often, increases risk of gum disease

May 24, 2017
Columbia University dental researchers have found that frequent recreational use of cannabis—including marijuana, hashish, and hash oil—increases the risk of gum disease.

Prevent tooth loss and dental work with good gum care

February 7, 2015
(HealthDay)—Taking care of your gums plays an important role in protecting your teeth.

Expectant mothers' periodontal health vital to health of her baby

August 28, 2013
When a woman becomes pregnant, she knows it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure both the health of herself and the health of her baby. New clinical recommendations from the American Academy of Periodontology ...

Injectable progesterone contraceptives may be associated with poor periodontal health

February 6, 2012
Injectable progesterone contraceptives may be associated with poor periodontal health, according to research in the Journal of Periodontology. The study found that women who are currently taking depotmedroxyprogesterone acetate ...

Recommended for you

Research shows aspirin could repair tooth decay

September 8, 2017
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that aspirin could reverse the effects of tooth decay resulting in a reduction in the need for fillings. Currently about 7 million fillings are provided by the NHS ...

New dental imaging method uses squid ink to fish for gum disease

September 7, 2017
Squid ink might be a great ingredient to make black pasta, but it could also one day make getting checked for gum disease at the dentist less tedious and even painless. By combining squid ink with light and ultrasound, a ...

A new dental restoration composite proves more durable than the conventional material

August 21, 2017
Fewer trips to the dentist may be in your future, and you have mussels to thank.

Small molecule inhibitor prevents or impedes tooth cavities in a preclinical model

August 10, 2017
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have created a small molecule that prevents or impedes tooth cavities in a preclinical model. The inhibitor blocks the function of a key virulence enzyme in an oral bacterium, ...

Understanding genetic synergy in cleft palate

July 19, 2017
Like all of the individual elements of fetal development, palate growth is a marvel of nature. In part of this process, ledges of tissue on the sides of the face grow downwards on each side of the tongue, then upward, fusing ...

Use of prefabricated blood vessels may revolutionize root canals

June 12, 2017
While root canals are effective in saving a tooth that has become infected or decayed, this age-old procedure may cause teeth to become brittle and susceptible to fracture over time. Now researchers at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.