The majority of US adults will have to deal with some form of periodontal (gum) disease at some point during their lives. Everything from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis can potentially threaten your gums, and by extension, your teeth, oral health, and your overall body health.
When most people think of dental hygiene, or oral hygiene, they immediately focus their thoughts on tooth health. But the fact is, dental hygiene is no less critical to periodontal (gum) health.
The abundance of breath mints and breath-taming chewing gums for sale in the average supermarket checkout line testify to the prevalence of bad breath in our society. But if you suffer from chronically bad breath, it can even start affecting your relationships.
Gum disease, more professionally referred to as periodontal disease, involves the deterioration and infection of gum tissue and the widening of gaps between gums and teeth. In its most advanced stages, it can lead to tooth loss and other serious health conditions like cardiac disease or an exasperated form of diabetes.
Almost everyone has heard the term "gingivitis" and understands it refers to some form of gum disease, but most do not know the exact definition of gingivitis, and many are not sure what they can do to prevent gum disease or to help reverse its effects. Given the devastating effects gum disease can have if left untreated, it is critical to get at least a basic education on what you can do to fight back against gingivitis.