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You must have poor dental hygiene to have gum disease, right?
In fact, more than 75% of Americans over age 35 have some form of gum disease. At its most mild, gum disease is called gingivitis, which consists of weak gums that are a little swollen and bleed too easily. If left unchecked, gum disease can turn into periodontal disease, where the bacteria in charge will cause further damage to your gums, as well as start attacking bone and connective tissue. Gum disease eventually results in tooth loss.
If you want to keep your teeth you must practice good dental hygiene. The root cause of gum disease is plaque around the gumline, so brushing at least twice daily can help prevent gum disease from even beginning. Brushing can't fully hold off gingivitis, however, as flossing is also necessary to remove plaque from the gumline and to strengthen your gums in general.
Even with perfect dental hygiene, your eating habits can take their toll on your teeth and gums, so it really is very important to see your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and inspection. Since even discount dental plans make these visits affordable, you should stop making excuses and start making sure that your teeth stay healthy with you into old age.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|