Gum or periodontal disease is a serious condition that affects many dental patients. The actual disease infects the tissue that helps to hold your teeth securely in the proper position. Advanced stages of gum disease can lead to tissue inflammation, bleeding, soreness, pain while chewing, and tooth loss. It is important to intervene in these situations to avoid serious consequences. The earlier that you catch the disease, the more easily it can be treated. We have compiled a list of some common signs that you have advanced gum disease below, but it is also important to understand what gum disease is. If you believe that you have gum disease, schedule an appointment with our dentist today.
Gum Disease 101
Gum disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding your teeth. This infection is caused by a buildup of bacteria, mucus, and other sugars, liquids or food particles. This buildup is commonly referred to as plaque. Regular brushing and flossing can get rid of the plaque in your mouth, but when the plaque hardens, it then becomes tartar. Tartar creates a stronger bond to the teeth and must be removed through professional cleaning. Both plaque and tartar buildup can harbor the bacteria that cause gum disease. Routine removal of the bacteria is critical to keeping the disease at bay.
There are several factors that lead to gum disease. Some of these are genetic or linked to gender.
Women and girls are more prone to gum disease due to their specific hormonal changes. The number one cause of gum disease though is linked to smoking. Cessation of smoking can immediately help to reduce the chances of contracting gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are many potential symptoms of gum disease. You may have gum disease if you exhibit just one or a few of these, but in severe cases, patients are more likely to recognize a number of these issues.
• Bad breath that does not respond to treatment: The bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath. In patients that have gum disease, simple brushing or mouthwash only offer temporary solutions before the problem resurfaces.
• Red or swollen gums: The buildup of bacteria along the base of the teeth and the gum line causes the gums to become red and inflamed.
• Tender, bleeding gums: As the irritation to the gums becomes more serious, the gums become more prone to bleed. This is often noticed when brushing or flossing, or when eating hard foods like apples, that may impact the gumline.
• Painful chewing: Periodontal disease can begin to affect your sensitivity when pressure is placed on your teeth and gums. This can be a minor irritation at first, but without treatment can become a serious issue.
• Loose teeth: The bacteria will begin to affect your body’s ability to function. The disease can cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out over time.
• Receding gums: Bacterial infections along the gum line can cause your gums to retreat from the teeth. This exposes the roots of the teeth to infection and damage.
Many cases of gum disease can be treated through the strict maintenance of a dental routine. Dentists recommend that you brush twice daily, and floss once. You should also make sure to use fluoride
toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth and keep them resistant to bacterial buildup. If flossing is uncomfortable for you, you can also speak to our dentist about other options. Some devices utilize jets of water to clean the interdental spaces.
If you have any of the signs of advanced periodontal disease, contact us and schedule an appointment with our dentist today. Sometimes the change in your routine isn’t enough to overcome the disease and enlisting the help of professionals can ensure that you are receiving the care that you deserve.