Gum Disease FAQs
Gum care is an essential part of caring for your teeth and mouth and your overall health. Here are some facts about the periodontal disease that are essential for everyone to keep their smile healthy.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding and supporting teeth. The bad news is that gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Without treatment, it can damage the bone that supports your teeth and cause them to loosen and fall out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for people over 35. It is not only a concern for your mouth. The bacteria in gum disease can spread to other parts of your body, and multiple studies have connected gum disease to whole-body health issues.
What Are Gum Disease Symptoms?
Gum disease begins with a plaque and often without you even realizing it. As gum disease may be painless, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms, including tender, red, or bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, sores in the mouth, pus between teeth, unpleasant taste in the mouth, or receding gums. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and easy to miss until the condition progresses to severe gum disease. Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and fit snugly around teeth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is most often due to poor or lacking oral care. You’re at risk if you don’t brush twice daily, floss at least once a day, and get regular cleanings. Gum disease is caused by the formation and hardening of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that lives on your teeth. Other leading factors in the development of gum disease include smoking, practicing poor oral hygiene, medical conditions such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, hormonal changes, some medications, and family history. These bacteria can multiply and travel to the body, leading to severe diseases.
How Many People Suffer from Gum Disease?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease affects about half of the adult population of the United States. The Surgeon general reports that forty-six million people aged 30 and older have moderate gum disease. It is one of the most prevalent oral health conditions. If left untreated, it can lead to gum recession or tooth loss.
What Are the Four Stages of Gum Disease?
Gingivitis – Plaque inflames the gums and bleeds easily.
Mild periodontitis – The beginning of bone and tissue loss around the tooth.
Moderate periodontitis – More bone and tissue destruction.
Advanced periodontitis – Extensive bone and tissue loss. Teeth may become loose.
How Does Gum Disease Affect Overall Health?
Gum disease is more severe than you might think. In fact, according to multiple studies for the last several decades, periodontitis can trigger and cause many systemic health issues and is linked to extreme conditions such as diabetes, heart complications, Alzheimer’s, and some forms of cancer. Gum disease also has been linked to three respiratory diseases – pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Gum disease increases the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
How to Prevent Gum Disease?
Make time to improve your whole family’s smile health with proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. Practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease. If you currently smoke, it is essential to quit. Do not put off your regular checkups! During check-ups and cleanings, we address any questions or concerns you may have regarding your dental health. He will also examine your teeth, gums, and jaw structure and check for any developing health problems.
How to Treat Gum Disease?
Treatment begins with good oral hygiene. The condition can be reversed through improved dental hygiene habits in mild gum disease cases. In more progressed gum disease cases, treatment options will be assessed by a periodontist, ranging from laser treatment to surgery to restore supportive tissues. The earlier you catch it, the better your chances for effective treatment.
Are you feeling some pain inside your mouth? Do you notice blood when you're brushing? You may need to see our dental hygienist to check what's happening inside your teeth and gums! Don’t let gum disease take over your mouth, and ensure you stay on top of your oral health! For more information about gum disease treatment, please call one of our offices or contact us online.