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6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Gum Disease

It has been stated that more than half of all adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. What’s more, according to data from the American Academy of Periodontology, adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease than to cavities. In spite of this, many people don’t know the differences between gingivitis and gum disease, what causes periodontal disease, and what your Kansas City family dentist can do to help.

  1. Gingivitis and gum disease aren’t the same. Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, often precedes gum disease, but they aren’t the same thing, and not every case of gingivitis is going to lead to periodontitis or gum disease, just like every case of gum disease doesn’t necessarily start with gingivitis. Gingivitis usually begins when bacteria or plaque build-up on the gums, causing them to become inflamed. Patients often first notice gingivitis if their gums begin to bleed when they’re brushing their teeth.
  2. Lots of things can cause gum disease. Gum disease can be caused by not taking proper care of your teeth and gums, but many other factors also come into play. Even if you brush and floss regularly and come see a dentist in Kansas City for check-ups, you may still be at risk for periodontitis if you have a genetic predisposition toward gum disease or engage in risky habits like smoking. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, can also increase your risk of gum disease, and so can certain illnesses and medications.
  3. Brushing may actually make it worse. If your gums are bleeding when you brush your teeth, you might actually be increasing your risk of gum disease. By irritating your gums, you make them more susceptible to bacteria. To avoid making the situation worse, be sure that your toothbrush is soft and that you aren’t applying too much pressure.
  4. You can get gingivitis from your partner. If you take good care of your teeth but your spouse or partner doesn’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re off the hook. The bacteria that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis can be passed from one person to another by sharing eating utensils or toothbrushes, and even by kissing. So encourage your loved ones to take good care of their teeth and gums, too!
  5. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can affect other parts of your body. We all know that oral health is directly related to whole-body health, and one way that’s true is that the bacteria that cause gum disease can actually find its way into your bloodstream and lead to other adverse health conditions. The best way to prevent this is early detection, which means seeing your Kansas City family dentist regularly.
  6. You can still have gum disease even without symptoms. Another reason why it’s important to see a dentist in Kansas City is because you may have gum disease even if you don’t notice bleeding, inflammation, or any other symptoms. Gum disease can also affect only certain areas of the mouth, so you may not immediately notice symptoms, even if they’re present.

All the more reason to ensure that you and your loved ones are getting regular dental checkups from the caring team at Blacker Family Dental. Call (816) 763-8400 to schedule an appointment with your Kansas City family dentist today!