According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately half of the American population has gum disease or symptoms of it. Affecting women and men alike, no one is excluded from this possible diagnosis- even children are susceptible.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the gum tissues and bone that supports the teeth. Many factors can increase the chances of developing gum disease, such as tobacco use, stress, poor diet, or even genetics. The hardened plaque, called tartar or calculus, that builds up by the gum line can bring about gingivitis and spread into the underlying bone. It can start slowly without any pain and may go unnoticed until there is pain.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease can include:
- Red, swollen or tender gums/ Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity for no reason
- Metallic taste
- Chronic bad breath
- Deep pockets (the space between gums and the teeth)
While practicing good dental hygiene, such as regular flossing and brushing after meals, can help slow the progression of such a disease, it is important to schedule regular dental check-ups to prevent gum disease or its progression.
Unfortunately, many people go to the dentist only when they experience some sort of pain or symptom. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep on top of your oral health and make an appointment with your dentist every 6 months for a dental check- up and deep cleaning. Contact Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Clinic to schedule your appointment at 718-206-6980.