Everyone looks forward to the festive Thanksgiving season. This is the time when favorite family recipes are brought to the table for everyone to enjoy once again. Between the turkey, stuffing, and pie, most people would rather not think about their dental hygiene. Managing travel plans, visiting family members, and other guests at your table can make such an appointment even less of a priority. However, since Thanksgiving tends to be a little hectic and your food choices can be a little out of the ordinary, this is actually the perfect time to give some extra attention to caring for your teeth and gums. In fact, your risk of gum disease (periodontal disease) increases with every missed opportunity for regular dental hygiene.

Gum Disease Prevention Requires Regular Effort

Skipping one night of brushing your teeth is alright – or is it? Depending on your degree of risk, neglecting this important task can actually have some profound consequences. The bacteria responsible for gum disease are already present in your mouth; they are just kept under control by regular brushing and flossing. If these tasks are neglected, bacteria have the chance to flourish and become more entrenched within your oral tissue.

What Does Gum Disease Look Like?

Periodontal disease is a surprisingly common problem and many people have it; there is a good chance that you or someone in your family has this condition. However, in its earliest stages gum disease is not very noticeable; it takes the trained eye of a dental care professional to identify the problem. As the disease progresses to its intermediate stages, symptoms like these will develop:

  • Swollen, tender gum tissue
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when scratched
  • Tooth sensitivity

Do not let these symptoms get in the way of enjoying yourself this Thanksgiving. Be sure to pack your toothbrush when traveling and make flossing a regular practice. If you have concerns about the health of your gums, schedule an appointment with periodontist Dr. Tokarczyk in Springfield, MO.