Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a rampant problem in this country, affecting more than half of all Americans over the age of 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The problem is that many people are not getting treatment for the disease—primarily because they don’t know they have it.
Not only is gum disease the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults, but it can also put sufferers at higher risk for serious disease.
The only way to know for sure if your gums are healthy is to see your dentist regularly. Gum disease is sometimes present with no symptoms, so it can only be detected through an examination. It can be reversed in its earliest stages, so it’s crucial to have routine checkups at your dentist.
Call Radiant Smiles Family Dental to make an appointment with Dr. Yuchen Sheng. She can determine the health of your gums and provide immediate treatment if you show any signs of periodontal disease.
Signs of Gum Disease
Those who have symptoms of gum disease often report that their gums bleed after brushing and flossing. This is a sign of early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. Although highly treatable, gingivitis will not go away on its own without treatment from your dentist.
When symptoms go beyond bleeding gums, this can be a sign that the disease has progressed. Some of these signs of later stage gum disease—or periodontitis—include the following:
- Bad breath that lingers, even after brushing and rinsing with mouthwash
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Pockets of pus that have formed around the gum areas
If your teeth look longer than normal (because the gums are pulling away from them) or are already feeling loose, the disease has progressed to severe stages, and you are at risk of losing your teeth.
Causes of Gum Disease
There are several causes of gum disease, and it often comes down to more than just poor oral care.
- Plaque buildup isn’t removed and is allowed to remain on your teeth. Everyone—even the most diligent brusher and flosser—has a film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth and gums. A lot of it can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, but some of it cannot be reached, so it hardens into tartar, or calculus. The only way this can be removed is with special dental instruments.
- People who smoke are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. Once the infection takes hold, smokers’ bodies are not as efficient at healing as nonsmokers.
- If your diet is unhealthy and you eat a lot of sugary foods, this can be harmful to gum health.
- Those who have a family history of gum disease might be at an increased risk of developing it themselves.
Keep Gums Healthy
If Dr. Sheng determines that you have gum disease, she will recommend the appropriate periodontal therapy that can help remove plaque and bacteria from below the gumline. This will help shrink the periodontal pockets that might have developed and encourage healthy gum tissue. She will customize a maintenance cleaning schedule that is suitable for your lifestyle and recommend a home-care regimen to prevent the periodontal disease from recurring.
Keep your teeth and gums healthy with regular visits to Radiant Smiles Family Dental. We will help to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy with an emphasis on preventive care. Our primary goal is to help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Sheng to experience a higher standard of dental care.