Why Your Gum Health Matters
It's a fact. There's a direct connection between the health of your mouth and the health of your whole body. Dental problems like gum disease can complicate chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. And those conditions can make it harder to manage your gum health.
Gum disease is common, but largely preventable. Around 75% of Americans have some form of it. Gum disease happens when the bacteria in plaque cause inflammation of the gums, which can affect the areas that support your teeth. As untreated gum disease progresses to periodontitis - a more serious condition - it can even lead to bone and tooth loss.
Since September is National Gum Care Month, now's the time to evaluate your oral health and take steps to treat or prevent gum disease, especially if you have any chronic medical conditions.
Some United Concordia Dental plans even include Smile for Health®-Wellness, a special program that provides enhanced benefits to help people certain chronic conditions to better treat their gum disease.
Find out if you're eligible for Smile for Health®-Wellness
How to Spot Gum Disease
Are your gums red, swollen or tender? Do they bleed when you brush? Are they pulling away from the edges of your teeth?
You may be in the early stages of periodontal disease, called gingivitis. But don't panic. It's likely reversible at this point with the right care.
3 steps to proper gum care:
- Floss once a day - It's the most important thing you can do. Why? Flossing removes plaque that can build up on your teeth and lead to gum disease. Floss comes in many different types. Ask your dentist which one is right for you.
- Brush gums 2X a day - Gently brush over both your teeth and gums in a circular motion. This helps to massage your gums to keep them healthy and get rid of plaque that may not be noticeable.
- Visit your dentist regularly - Make sure to schedule a dental exam and cleaning at least once a year. Your dentist will check the health of your teeth and gums. When gum disease is caught early, prompt treatment can stop it from getting worse and minimize the damage. Your dentist will advise how often you need cleanings to keep your oral health at its best.
Watch our gum care video
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