February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. More than 80 percent of Americans are living with periodontal or gum disease, which most often than not, goes unnoticed. Because the symptoms are barely noticeable at first and there is no pain involved, it can be tough
According to the American Association of Periodontology (AAP), you may have gum disease, even if it's in its early stages, if:
- your gums are red, swollen and sore to the touch.
- your gums bleed when you eat, brush or floss.
- you see pus or other signs of infection around the gums and teeth.
- your gums look as if they are "pulling away" from the teeth.
- you frequently have bad breath or notice a bad taste in your mouth.
- or some of your teeth are loose, or feel as if they are moving away from the other teeth.
A great oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits are the absolute best way to take a preventative measure against gum disease. The American Dental Association (ADA) site recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth comfortably, so it reaches every tooth surface adequately. Be sure to floss everyday to ensure your gums are healthy and pink.