Symptoms of Gum Disease
Periodontitis, also called gum disease, is an oral infection that afflicts and destroys the gums and bone that support your teeth. In advanced stages, your teeth can loosen and even fall out.
This disease is caused by poor oral hygiene and prevented by good oral hygiene. By brushing and flossing your teeth after you eat, you can prevent this disease. Also remember to come in to our office for professional cleanings once every 6 months.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Healthy gums will fit snugly around your teeth in a pale pink color. But if someone has gum disease, they’ll experience the following symptoms:
[[[Right red, purple or inflamed gums
~Gums that feel sensitive when touched and bleed easily
~Gums receding from the teeth, making teeth look longer
~Gaps in between your teeth
~Pus between teeth and gums
~Chewing food is painful
Contact us right away to schedule an appointment if you encounter any of these symptoms.
Causes of Gum Disease
The main culprit is bacterial plaque. When colonies of bacteria form on a tooth, they produce a sticky film called plaque. Plaque that is left untreated hardens into tartar, which requires special tools to remove. Tartar will cause more severe dental problems if it’s not dealt with.
Foods that have a lot of starch and sugar will aid in the formation of plaque. It regenerates quickly even when you brush and floss twice a day and avoid these foods.
Plaque causes gingivitis, which is a less severe stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, the gums surrounding your teeth get irritated and inflamed. Fortunately, good oral habits will prevent and reverse this.
If we don’t do anything to treat inflamed gums, they’ll cause pockets to open up in between your gums and teeth. As time goes on, these pockets will grow larger and deeper. Bacteria will fill the gaps and will aid in the breakdown of bone and tissue. Eventually, you can lose your teeth. The immune system will also become strained if you suffer from chronic inflammation.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Certain risk factors can increase your chances of contracting this disease. Here are some of those risk factors:
~Inadequate oral hygiene
~Tobacco or drug use
~Medications that cause dry mouth or changes in the gum tissues
~Inadequate nutrition (e.g., vitamin C deficiency)
~Hormonal changes (e.g., changes brought on by pregnancy or menopause)
~Conditions that decrease your immunity (e.g., leukemia, HIV/AIDS, and cancer treatment
~Certain diseases (e.g., diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease)]]]
If you fulfill certain of these, Dr. Schiffer will take that into account in considering how to clean your teeth, whether or not you have gum disease. Either way, keep coming in for oral exams and professional cleanings. It’s best if you schedule them once every 6 months. That way we can catch this disease before it progresses.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (470) 222-8983.