Oral health problems can range from mild to very serious. For example, if you have a common type of gum disease called gingivitis, you may notice some unusual bleeding of your gums or some gum tenderness, but if you brush and floss carefully and consistently, your symptoms will often disappear.
However, other problems with your mouth, teeth, or gums can be extremely serious. Periodontitis is a form of gum disease that is generally irreversible and can lead to tooth and bone loss. Temporomandibular disorders (problems with your jaw joint and muscles) can cause chronic pain and difficulty eating. Cancers of the tongue, throat, and mouth can be difficult to treat and may be incurable.
Because oral health problems can be very serious, it is important to take three simple steps toward good oral health. These are:
1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
2. Floss once daily.
3. Get a cleaning and check-up at your dentist's office at least twice a year (more often if you have certain conditions such as diabetes)