What are the warning signs of Gum Disease?
Often patients are suffering from Gum Disease and they do not even know it. Gum Disease, also know as Periodontal Disease, is infection and chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues. Since it is painless in the majority of cases, patients are unaware of what is happening until they are in late stages of the disease.
Some warning signs of gum disease include:
- red, tender, or swollen gums
- bleeding while brushing your teeth
- bleeding while flossing your teeth
- gums that do not firmly adhere to the teeth and are separating from them
- bad breath
Usually discomfort is not a factor until it is too late and patients need to have teeth removed. This is why regular frequent dental visits are advised by the American Dental Association (ADA).
What Causes Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by the layer of plaque that is always in the process of forming on teeth. Bacteria that live in every ones mouths are constantly creating a sticky film on the teeth. These bacteria can invade the tissues and cause the infection. The film that the bacteria creates on the teeth and the gums is known as plaque. It does not have a color and it firmly adheres to the teeth. If plaque is not removed thoroughly, it hardens and becomes a different material commonly known as tartar. This hard tartar, calculus, releases toxins and is extremely irritating to the gums. The fibers that hold the gums to the teeth begin to break down and create open doors for bacteria to travel into; thus, progressing the disease and causing further destruction.
Am I at risk?
There are factors that contribute to gum disease that can put you more at risk. Some of these include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Tobacco use
- Family history of gum disease (Genetics)
- Diseases that interfere with the immune system (leukemia, AIDS, etc)
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications
Can I prevent Gum Disease?
There are many ways to minimize your risk of gum disease. With good home care through daily brushing and flossing, you are able to disrupt the plaque layer forming on your teeth. Electric toothbrushes work great to remove the bacteria build-up as well. Also, by seeing your dentist regularly you will reduce your risk significantly. Dr. Cirka, Dr. Jeon and Dr. Smith will perform a comprehensive periodontal evaluation and look at your teeth, plaque level, gums, bite, bone structure and other risk factors for gum disease.
Identifying symptoms early is the key to success in treatment. If you suspect there may be a problem do not hesitate- contact your dentist today for an evaluation.
Contact us today for a free exam and X-rays to keep you healthy.