Are you at risk for gum disease? Take this quiz to find out!

IMPRESSION AnteriorCrownChristineSpiers 9

Gum disease is more common that you might think. If you’re 30-years-old or older, you might be one of the 40% of adults who suffer from periodontal or “gum” disease, an infection that weakens the tissues and bone that support your teeth. According to the CDC, 47% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. Perio disease increases with age. 70% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. It’s also at the root of all kinds of painful and unpleasant conditions, linked to everything from bad breath and bloody gums to a weak immune system and heart disease.

The good news? With a few good oral hygiene habits, you can prevent periodontal disease before there’s any lasting damage. You just have to know what to look for. Take our quick quiz to learn the warning signs of gum disease and find out if your health’s at risk.

Question #1: Do you struggle with bad breath? 

Rotting food particles and bacteria lingering on your teeth, tongue and gums can release nasty gases that cause bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Daily brushing, flossing and mouth wash can help.

Question #2: Do your gums feel tender or bleed easily?

Irritated gums and blood in the sink are signs that you might have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Don’t assume you’re brushing too hard. Scheduling a check-up now can save you pain (and money) later.

Question #3: Do you brush your teeth twice a day?

Where there’s plaque, there’s bacteria. And where there’s bacteria, there’s the chance of a serious infection. Brushing at least twice a day helps keep your mouth healthy by removing this gritty film from your teeth and gums.

Question #4: Do your teeth ever feel loose?

Gum disease destroys the bone and tissue that give your teeth structure and strength. Over time, these damaged teeth may fall out or need to be removed. So if your teeth feel wobbly, don’t hesitate. Call your dentist right away.

Question #5: Do you use tobacco products?

It doesn’t matter whether you use cigarettes, pipe tobacco, snus or chew. All tobacco products weaken your body’s ability to fight infections like gum disease. And the more tobacco you use (and the longer you use it), the higher your risk.

Question #6: Do you floss regularly?

Bacteria loves to hide, and a toothbrush can’t clean everywhere. Flossing between your teeth at least once a day helps you get rid of the plaque and small food particles that build up in the tight spaces between your teeth.

Question #7: Has your bite or the fit of your dentures changed?

Teeth shouldn’t shift around. If you notice a subtle change in the way your teeth fit together, it may be a sign that advanced periodontitis has weakened the bones and connective tissues that are supposed to hold your teeth firmly in place.

Question #8: Have your gums pulled away from your teeth?

If your teeth look longer than usual or the spaces between your teeth seem bigger, your gums may actually be pulling away from your teeth. It can happen as gum disease worsens, and it’s definitely something to discuss with your dentist.

Question #9: Do you visit your dentist at least twice a year?

Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups is one of the best ways to maintain your oral health. It’s also the perfect time to ask questions about gum disease and other concerns, so you always know how your mouth is doing.

Question #10: Are you pregnant? Or have you been diagnosed with a chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or osteoporosis?

If you have a health condition that makes you vulnerable to infection, causes dramatic hormonal changes in your body, or weakens the bones and tissues teeth rely on, you may be at a higher risk for gum disease. That’s why First Choice Dental dentists take the time to understand your whole health.

If you’re worried about your gum disease risk, First Choice Dental can help. We make it easy to schedule an appointment, learn more about your treatment options, or find a periodontist who’s right for you.