Gum Disease – What You Need to Know

Gum disease affects the tissues that surround your teeth. In adults, gum disease is a leading cause for losing teeth! It may be hard to tell if you have gum disease because it usually does not cause pain. Your dentist, hygienists, and assistants are all knowledgeable in the signs and symptoms and with regular check ups, you can avoid gum disease.

Some problems can signal the presence of gum disease, including:

  • bleeding gums
  • red, swollen, and/or tender gums
  • consistent bad breath or taste
  • loose permanent teeth
  • bite changes
  • change in the way your partial dentures fit

The risk of developing gum disease can increase with some factors:

  • inconsistent oral hygiene or poor oral hygiene
  • smoking and tobacco product use
  • certain medication use
  • diabetes
  • crooked teeth that are hard to clean effectively
  • pregnancy

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which usually includes symptoms of red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Luckily, gingivitis is reversible in most cases! Receiving a deep cleaning from your dental hygienist can help you regain a healthy mouth, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis is the diagnosis for advanced gum disease. Over 45% of adults in the United States suffer with chronic periodontitis. Consequently, the tissues and bone are both affected over time.The most destructive form of gum disease is aggressive periodontitis and causes rapid loss of both bone and tissues and could occur in the entire mouth.

Researchers and doctors are starting to link systemic diseases (such as heart disease) to periodontal disease. it is important to schedule regular dental check ups and cleanings. Outside of the dental office, great oral hygiene helps maintain your natural smile for a lifetime!