Proper dental hygiene is an important part of maintaining good dental health. Gum disease does not discriminate by age. Learning a good preventative dental hygiene plan early on is an important part of maintaining good dental health throughout your life.
The leading cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque, a film that builds up along the gum line and traps food and germs. Once settled in, the germs attack the gums and cause soreness and bleeding. If the plaque is not removed then tartar will form.
Brushing and flossing in addition to a preventative visit to your family dentist every six months, is a great way to catch these types of early dental problems as they develop. Statistics show that up to 90% of adults suffer from gum disease at some point in their lifetime, so a good preventative plan started as early as possible, can help maintain dental health for years to come.
Two Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis – which occurs when plaque has built up enough to cause tenderness and bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth, and
- Periodontal disease – which occurs when gingivitis has been left untreated and has progressed to sore swollen gums that have pulled away from your teeth. These pockets collect food particles and may become infected. If left untreated, your teeth will begin to loosen, resulting in tooth loss.
Although good dental hygiene can help prevent many dental diseases, it may not be enough if you suffer from diabetes. Gum disease is the most common oral disease that affects people with diabetes, but unfortunately not the only one.
Diabetes also makes you more susceptible to:
- Oral infections - caused by a group of germs that have settled in a specific area of the mouth. The symptoms of an oral infection can be quite painful, and immediate treatment from your family dentist is required.
- Thrush - a fungal infection caused by high blood sugar and repeated antibiotic use.
- Dry mouth - caused by some medications, and the high blood sugar of diabetes can lead to cavities due to the lack of saliva.