Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an extremely common dental condition in adults. To have gum disease means that you have an infection in the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. If you don’t do anything to treat it, you risk losing your teeth to decay. The primary cause of gum disease is plaque. This sticky bacterium builds up on your teeth over time and eventually starts attacking the gum tissue. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they have gum disease because it typically doesn’t cause pain.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
Because many people don’t know they have gum disease until the advanced stages, it’s important to know what to look for so you can seek treatment at Barringer Family Dentistry as soon as possible. The most typical symptoms of gum disease include:
- Chronic bad breath despite regular brushing and use of mouthwash
- One or more of your teeth feel loose
- You notice that your gums bleed after brushing or flossing
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness of the gums
- Your dental restorations don’t fit right
- Your alignment and bite seem to have changed
- Part of your gums appear as though they have been pulled away from the teeth
Please schedule a consultation with us right away if you notice any of these symptoms or if they seem to be getting worse. Not only can untreated gum disease lead to tooth loss, it’s also linked to a higher incidence of heart disease and diabetes.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
The most common cause of gum disease is a lack of attention to proper oral hygiene habits. However, you may still develop it even when you do everything right. The following factors also increase the likelihood that you will acquire gum disease:
- Smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco
- Having diabetes
- An inherited tendency from your parents
- Taking certain cancer treatment drugs, oral contraceptives, steroids, or anti-seizure medication
- Having crooked or misaligned teeth that are challenging to clean
Please let Dr. Barringer know if you have any of these risk factors when you come in for a routine exam. You should also make it a point to develop a thorough oral healthcare routine to avoid complications in the future.
How We Treat Gum Disease
After making careful observations and notating your patient chart, we will discuss which method of treatment is right for you. For most people, we recommend deep cleaning and root planing. If that fails to improve the situation, we may need to look at oral surgery. However, we always try the most conservative treatment approach first.
Do you have additional questions about gum disease prevention or treatment? If so, let us know in the comments below! Thank you 🙂