The health of your gums is terribly important to your overall oral health, and is considered an important overall health factor. Gum disease is not easy to detect because symptoms like discomfort and pain are not typically associated with it. We are passionate about keeping your teeth and gums in great shape. We realize that a big portion of the fight against gum disease and tooth decay starts with your education – when you understand how these issues work, you can take steps to prevent them.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and soft tissues surrounding the teeth. The infection is caused by the same thing that causes tooth decay – bacterial plaque and tartar. When plaque is allowed to build up below the gum line it will start to infect and irritate the gums. This is known as gingivitis, or early stage gum disease. Common signs and symptoms of gingivitis are as follows:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Swollen, red, tender gums
- Bad breath
- Gums that appear pulled away from the surface of the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Change in your bite
- Change in the way dentures fit
Gum disease can have a serious impact on your oral health and should be treated immediately. We can take certain steps to clear away the plaque buildup below the gum line, but you must also take the time every day to brush and floss thoroughly. If you continue to neglect your oral hygiene, there is a good chance that a curable issue like gingivitis can progress into late stage periodontitis.
Once you have late stage gum disease (periodontitis), the issues can really start to compound. Periodontitis is not curable and can significantly hurt the health of your mouth. It can lead to tooth loss and bone loss in your jaw.
The Dangers of Periodontitis
The structures that will be immediately impacted by periodontitis are the teeth and gums. Your gums will feel raw and bleed frequently. Your teeth will have to deal with being attacked by an insurmountable number of bacteria. Tooth loss is often inevitable and can lead to bone loss.
It can have a serious impact on more than just your mouth, studies have shown that there may be a link between periodontitis and systemic diseases such as stroke and diabetes.
How To Combat Gum Disease
The best way to combat gum disease is to avoid getting it altogether. Prevention is always going to be the best route when it comes to dental maladies. How can you avoid getting gum disease? Staying on top of your oral health by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day is critical. Don’t forget to include your gums in your brushing routine, with light pressure and a soft bristled toothbrush, even your gums can benefit from brushing.
Don’t forget to come in to have your professional cleaning and examination at least twice a year. We will be able to give your teeth a thorough cleaning, hitting all the spots that you may have missed. We will also be able to detect if issues like gum disease are creeping up on you and can give you solid tools to combat their spread.
Please call us today at (503) 620-6133 to schedule your appointment.