Your Guide to Gum Disease
December 27, 2019 | Gum Disease | The Office of Palisades Dentists
2 Min Read
We may know that brushing helps to keep our teeth healthy, but a lot of us forget about our gums.
According to a report from the Center for Disease Control, at least 47 percent of adults ages 30 and older have some form of gum disease.
Neglecting to care for your gums can lead to painful and even irreversible damage.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by excessive buildup of plaque and bacteria. This build-up is more harmful the longer it stays on teeth.
Untreated, the buildup of bacteria hardens and eventually causes the infection and breakdown of the gums.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease can actually be identified in two forms, and there are signs and symptoms associated with each as an infection worsens.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. This is the milder form of gum disease and includes symptoms such as:
If gingivitis is allowed to go untreated, the inflammation will progress and the infection will spread deeper. The gums will begin to pull away from the teeth causing spaces that become infected from a build-up of bacteria.
Symptoms from gingivitis will worsen, and these new symptoms may appear:
- Separation of the gum from the tooth
- Loosening of teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad breath
- Pain when chewing
How Can You Treat Gum Disease?
The level of treatment needed for gum disease is dependent on the level of damage that has already been done. If a patient has gingivitis, it can usually be gradually reversed with daily brushing, better toothpaste, flossing, and routine dentist visits.
For more severe gum disease, patients can undergo a deep cleaning and perhaps make a few medications intended to control the production of bacteria and reduce the size of spaces causing infection.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
A healthy and consistent dental hygiene routine is essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and, more importantly, keeping disease away. Here are a few more tips for keeping your gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss regularly
- Stay consistent with dental visits for routine checkups and professional cleanings
- Refrain from smoking