According to a 2010 study by the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), one of every two adults over the age of 30 in the United States is projected to have gum disease at this very moment—that’s roughly 64.7 million American adults with mild, moderate, or severe gum disease!

Why is it that gum disease is so prevalent in the states? How can you avoid contracting chronic gum issues yourself? The Gaithersburg dentists at Clopper’s Mill Dental Care will answer that question here. We’ll cover what gum disease is, what its symptoms are, how it’s treated, and how to avoid it in the first place.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is clinically known as periodontal disease, an infection of structures around the teeth like the gums and other supporting tissues. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which is a bacterial “disruption” in the gums only, highlighted by swollen, itchy, and bleeding gums. This is a bacterial infection that must be dealt with immediately—if it’s ignored and goes untreated, it could lead to full-on periodontal disease which can compromise the structural integrity of your teeth, gums, and jawbone.

Gum disease is caused by plaque that develops on your teeth every time you eat. This sticky substance causes your immune system to elicit a stress response that causes swelling and bleeding of the gums.

What are the consequences of gum disease?

While there is yet to be highly conclusive evidence to confirm these connections, multiple scientific studies have discovered possible connections between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, premature births, diabetes, and respiratory ailments. Not exactly a great list. The very best scenario for severe gum disease? Severe bleeding of the gums, loose and displaced teeth, loss of teeth, jaw atrophy, and changes to facial shape and structure.

How do I avoid gum disease?

The best medicine is preventative medicine—and in the world of dentistry, that medicine is almost always practicing proper oral health habits and making frequent visits to the dentist’s office. Brush twice daily with tartar control toothpaste, floss daily, and use antibacterial mouthwash—and if you do experience symptoms of gingivitis or mild gum disease, pay a visit to your local dentist for treatment.

Good oral health habits have a direct connection to good holistic habits—so avoid smoking, drinking excess amounts of soda and other sugary, carbonated drinks, and keep sugary candy consumption to a minimum. It’s just like your mom used to teach you.

Choose The No. 1 Gaithersburg Dentists

Great oral health starts with visits to your dentists at Clopper’s Mill Dental every six months. Our experienced team of dentists, oral surgeons, and staff members provide top-notch patient care and can provide you with expert dental solutions that can help you avoid gum disease and keep you smiling all year long. We’re a family dentist, too—so bring the whole family in at the same time for the most convenient dental experiences. Don’t wait—schedule an appointment with Clopper’s Mill Dental today!