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Is Gum Disease a Serious Problem? | Overland Park Family Dentist

Most people already know that gum disease is a concern. You may even know that your risk of gum disease goes up as you get older and that gum disease prevention is tied primarily to the quality of your personal oral care routine. You know that brushing, flossing, and scheduling biannual visits to your Overland Park dentist are absolutely essential to helping prevent gum disease or catching it in its earliest stages, when it’s most easily treatable. And yet many still ask, “Is gum disease a serious problem?”

The answer is a resounding, “YES!”

Here’s the unadulterated truth about gum disease: Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is a serious infection that can literally destroy the bones in your jaw if it goes untreated. Untreated gum disease may lead to lasting damage to the soft tissue of your mouth, tooth loss, or worse. Again, gum disease is a very serious problem.

In fact, gum disease is such a serious concern that we’ve actually written a number of articles on the subject, describing how gum disease develops, the role that periodontitis plays in gum recession as you age, the links between gum disease and bad breath, and even how gum disease is a growing problem for adults 45 to 65 years old. You can check out those links to learn more about periodontitis, how it develops, and how you can prevent it. But lest this all seem like doom and gloom, that’s just the bad news.

Here’s the good news about gum disease: Sure, gum disease is serious, but it’s also common and largely preventable.

As we already mentioned, gum disease is typically the result of bad oral hygiene habits. So long as you brush twice a day and floss once a day, you’re off to a great start when it comes to staving off gum disease. But those are just the minimums. If you want to brush after every meal, great! If you want to floss more than once a day, that’s good, too. Just remember to also take it easy on your gums and teeth because you can overdo it. If you ever have questions, just ask the hygienists or dentists at your friendly Overland Park dental practice.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of gum disease, including bleeding, swollen, tender, or puffy gums, bad breath, loose teeth or tooth loss, painful chewing, receding gums, or a change in your bite.

When should you see your Overland Park dentist? You should see your dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups, obviously. Your dentist will check for any signs of gum disease while you’re there and can talk with you about it. But if you notice any symptoms in between checkups, make an appointment as soon as you can. It’s best to catch potential periodontitis as early as possible!

Whether you’re concerned about gum disease or just want to schedule your regular check-up, call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or chat with a member of our friendly staff anytime!

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