Dr. Eric Echelman Explains How to Fight Gum Disease

It's estimated between 75 and 90% of adults will suffer from gum disease. The good news is that gum disease is a preventable and treatable when developing the right habits.

Gum disease is one of the most important and prevalent dental issues for adults. Dr. Eric Echelman, DDS encounters it and its effects all the time at his White Plains Dental Office. Credible estimates of the number of adults stricken with gum disease at some point during their lives run from 75-90%. That said, gum disease is preventable, treatable , and if caught early enough, reversible. It's what happens when it isn't caught in a timely facing that's the problem.

Gum disease is progressive and is caused when unhealthy oral bacteria overwhelm the healthy ones, inhibiting your body's ability to fight them off naturally. The earlier this cycle is interrupted, the greater your chances of restoring your oral health.

There are two broad categories of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage so only affects the gum tissue, not the underlying support structure and bones. The gums may even look normal, but over time you might begin to notice symptoms of infection such as redness or puffiness, a bad odor, and bleeding during brushing.

Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease where these symptoms become amplified. The infections spreads from the gum into the underlying bone, and if left untreated, teeth may become loose, eventually leading to tooth loss. Periodontal disease will cause the gums to shirring away from the crowns of the teeth and expose some of the roots making the teeth look longer as well as more susceptible to root cavities.

Some of the conditions that can predispose you to gum disease include:

-A poor diet that is lacking in vitamins, minerals, calcium, and antioxidants, which can help you to fight disease and build healthy teeth and gums.

-Lack of effective home-care routines and dental visits to monitor your oral health.

-Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

-Stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

-Medications that can cause dry mouth.

-Times of hormonal fluctuations including pregnancy, menopause, and andropause.

-Outdated or ill-fitting restorations like dentures that rub your gums.

Gum disease is preventable, treatable, and sometimes also reversible. The best strategy is quality oral care habits.

-Brush at least twice a day for at least 2-3 minutes. Pay extra care to where your teeth and gums meet.

-Floss to get those spaces the toothbrush can't reach.

-Get regular checkups. A trained dental professional can spot gum disease in the early stages.

For more information about gum disease and what you can do to combat it visit us at Asnis & Echelman.