September is National Gum Care Month, and there is no better
way to celebrate than by visiting your favorite periodontist to make sure your
teeth and gums are healthy and clean. Gum disease, known professionally as periodontal disease
, can be
uncomfortable and unpleasant. If you are not taking proper care of your gums,
September is a great time to start!
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque builds up on the teeth continually, fed by the foods
we eat. It forms a sticky film around the teeth and gums and is full of
bacteria. If the plaque is not removed regularly it can become tartar, a hard
substance that can only be removed by a professional cleaning. A buildup of
plaque and tartar can cause inflammation in the gums, which may become red and
swollen and may bleed easily. One common form of periodontal disease
is gingivitis. Gum disease that goes untreated
can become more serious. With periodontitis, gums may pull away from the teeth,
allowing bacteria to proliferate below the gum line and eat away at connective
tissue and bone.
Why Should I Keep My
Gum disease can affect much more than just your mouth.
Studies have shown that people with unhealthy gums may also exhibit a range of
other problems, including:
An increased risk of heart disease
Greater risk of stroke
Higher prevalence of respiratory disease
More difficulty controlling blood sugar
Poorer performance on memory tests
Greater likelihood of delivering preterm, low
birth weight babies
How Can I Keep My
It is easy to make taking care of your gums part of your
Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride
Floss regularly or use a dental pick.
Use mouthwash to reduce plaque.
Do not smoke or use tobacco.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in
Visit your dentist for regular cleanings every
If you are experiencing painful or bleeding gums, contact a
periodontist for a consultation. Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche is a board certified periodontist in Sterling, VA
. New patients can request an
appointment with Dr. Kharmouche by calling (703) 951-6756.
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