Gum disease, commonly referred to as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissue and bone that support your teeth. Gum disease may end with tooth loss due to the destruction of the tissue that surround your teeth. We desire to prevent that outcome through education. In this blog we will answer some common questions about gum disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is primarily due to the long term effect of plaque deposits. Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria constantly form plaque, a sticky, colorless build up on teeth. The longer plaque is on teeth, the more harmful it becomes. The bacteria causes inflammation of gums, where the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. If it is not treated at this stage, the disease can advance to periodontitis. This is where gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces that become infected. As periodontitis spreads, it damages gum tissue and can spread to area of the jawbone that support teeth. This will cause teeth to become loose and fall out.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Painful chewing
- Mouth sores
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Treatment is dependent on the stage of disease. The goal of treatment is to promote the reattachment of healthy gums to teeth. Options range from professional dental cleaning, medications or surgical treatments.
How is Gum Disease Prevented?
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss every day
- Use antibacterial mouth rinse
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning
- Stop smoking
- Reduce stress
- Maintain a well-balanced diet
- Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth