What you need to know about gum disease now
- Posted on: Aug 15 2016
Of all the diseases we can acquire through no fault of our own, gum disease is one that we can usually avoid with good oral care: brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and seeing Mainland Dental Associates for regular check-ups. If you have already been diagnosed with gum disease, whether it is stopped, slowed, or gets worse also depends a lot on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day going forward.
What are the risk factors for gum disease?
- Family history
- Poor dental care
- Hormonal changes
- Other illnesses
What are the signs of gum disease?
- Red, swollen, tender, painful, bleeding and/or receding gums
- Sensitive of loose teeth
- Painful chewing
The origins of gum disease
Gum disease most commonly develops because plaque has built up along and under the gum line. Our mouths are full of bacteria that bond with mucus and food particles to form sticky plaque on our teeth. Brushing and flossing can help get rid of plaque, but when it isn’t removed, it can harden and form tartar that can only be properly removed with a professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist.
The next level: Gingivitis
The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more harmful they become. If you develop gingivitis, your gums will become red and swollen, and they can bleed easily. This is the mildest form of gum disease, and it can usually be reversed with consistent daily brushing and flossing, plus regular professional cleaning.
Advanced gum disease: Periodontitis
If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to the point where your gums will pull away from your teeth and form pockets that become infected. Bacterial toxins and your immune system start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place. Eventually if left untreated, the bones, gums and tissue that support your teeth become damaged, and your teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Keeping gum disease from occurring, becoming more serious or recurring is, simply put, in your hands. We suggest brushing, flossing and visiting us at Mainland Dental Associates regularly. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today at (609) 641-1065 in Pleasantville.
Posted in: Periodontal Disease