Gum Disease

Gum DiseaseGum disease, known as periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues needed to support your teeth. Build-up of plaque and tartar is the primary cause.

To avoid gum disease, brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is important. Some other causes of periodontal disease are eating or drinking sugar containing food or drinks and medical reasons such as diabetes.

 

The first sign of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis affects only the gums a mild condition that can be reversed. Periodontitis is when bacteria penetrates deeper into the pockets of tissue. This tissue is needed to support your teeth. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and serious health problems.

Periodontal disease may go unnoticed as often it is painless and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Avoid periodontal disease by keeping up with good oral hygiene habits and see a dentist for routine dental checkups.

Talk to a dentist about your risk for periodontal disease. Some reasons that may increase your risks are:

  • Not practicing good daily oral hygiene

  • Pregnancy

  • Heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, or respiratory disease

  • Genetics: A family member that has had periodontal disease

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products

Prescription drugs that may increase the risk of periodontal disease include:

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Calcium channel blocker

  • Anti-epilepsy medications

  • Cancer therapy medications

  • Steroids

Symptoms include:

  • Loose or separating teeth

  • Changes in the alignment of your teeth when biting

  • Changes in the way bridges or partial dentures fit

  • Recurring redness, tenderness, or swelling of your gums

  • Gums bleed while brushing teeth, flossing, or biting into hard food

  • Gums receding from your teeth (teeth look longer)

  • Persistent bad breath or metal taste

  • A sore or irritation in your mouth lasting more than two weeks

  • Defective fillings

  • Gum infections

At our office, we can perform a dental exam for periodontal disease and discuss treatment options for you.