Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
Gum disease, which is also known as periodontitis, is a bacterial growth in your mouth that leads to tooth loss if not properly treated.
In a person with gum disease, the gums and bones pull away creating small spaces between the teeth and gums which therefore collect bacteria.
The toxins produced by the bacteria fight the body's immune system making the bones and connective tissues holding the teeth break down.
As the gum disease progresses the spaces deepen and numerous gum tissues and bones get destroyed. When this takes place, teeth become free due to the jawbone loss, and then tooth loss occurs.
Gum disease has always been a common cause of tooth loss in adults. However, here at , our experienced dentist can help treat gum disease and offer you teeth replacement options that fit your needs.
Causes of Gum Disease
Although plaque is the main cause of gum disease, there are other factors that cause gum disease as well.
This normally occurs in women during pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
Hormonal production during these stages causes the gums to be more sensitive thus making them vulnerable for gingivitis to develop.
Diseases such as cancer or diabetes may alter your body's immune system thus making it more vulnerable to bacterial invasion.
Patients diagnosed with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease since diabetes affects their body's ability to use blood sugar.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Food particles may build up between your teeth thus giving room for bacteria to build up.
Therefore, when you don't brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis or after meals, you are at higher risk of developing gingivitis.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can progress quickly, even with few obvious symptoms in the last stages, although the symptoms of periodontal infection are typical.
Certain side effects may point to another type of infection.
Gum disease symptoms, therefore, include bleeding gums after brushing, red and swollen gums, receding gums, loose teeth, deep spaces between teeth and gums, and bad breath in the mouth.
Even if you notice all of these symptoms, you must keep in mind that only a dentist or specialized periodontist can diagnose and ascertain the level and progression of gum disease.
Diagnosis of Gum Disease
In your visit to the dentist for a dental examination, the dentist will normally check for gum degeneration, enlargement, immobility, and the space between the gum and tooth.
The bigger and more profound the space is between your gums and teeth, the more serious the gum disease.
The dentist also checks for your tooth development, response, and proper arrangement of your teeth.
Checking your jawbone can also help the dentist in identifying the disintegration of the bone surrounding your teeth.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote the reattachment of healthy gums to teeth, to decrease pocket enlargement, and the depth of pockets, and to minimize the risk of contamination which therefore stops the spread of gum disease.
Treatment options for gum disease are determined by the stage of illness, how you responded prior to medications, and your overall health.
The options range from nonsurgical therapies to surgical procedures to rebuild stable tissues.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
When sufficient plaque control is practiced, gum disease can be prevented from worsening in almost all instances.
Normally, plaque control requires professional cleaning at least twice a year, as well as daily brushing and flossing.
Other preventive dentistry options may help as well.
Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line.
Daily flossing also helps in removing plaque in areas where your toothbrush can not reach. You may try interdental cleaners, or small flossers that go between your teeth.
To avoid harming your gums, you can always ask our dentist how to best use interdental cleaners.
Brush your teeth twice every day and make use of a gentle soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth.
Also remember to replace your toothbrush at regular intervals, or sooner if the fibers get frayed. Brushing helps in removing plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that are accessible.
Apart from following good oral hygiene practices, you can also adopt different healthy lifestyle choices to minimize risks for gum disease.
You can reduce stress to allow your body's immune system to fight off infection. Eating foods rich in antioxidants can also help your body repair damaged tissues.
Maintaining proper nutrition also helps in building a strong immune system which in turn helps in fighting plaque.
Similarly, you can also avoid clenching and grinding your teeth which helps in reducing pressure on your teeth and their supporting tissues.
Smoking has always been related to health conditions affecting the heart and lungs, but it can also harm your teeth and gums.
However, smokers are at a higher risk of developing gum disease than nonsmokers and it lowers the chances of gum disease treatment if not avoided or taken with precaution.
Are There Risks Associated with Gum Disease?
In individuals with a healthy immune system, the microscopic organisms in the mouth that develop into the circulatory system are generally harmless.
However, under some conditions, these microorganisms have been linked to medical conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
Although diabetes isn't merely a risk factor for gum disease, the gum infection may worsen diabetes in a person.
Call to Schedule Today!
Consider an appointment with our trained professional dentist at Pacific Ave. Dental facility. Our specialist team can also be reached through a call to (360) 373-3515.