Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s not something to take lightly, since it can lead to tooth loss and other health complications if left untreated.
In this post, we’ll help you spot the warning signs of gum disease early on, so you can take steps to prevent it from getting worse. We’ll talk about the symptoms, causes, and consequences of gum disease and share some easy tips to help you keep your gums healthy!
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that occurs when bacteria build up on the teeth and gums. Over time, this can cause inflammation and damage to the gums and surrounding tissues.
Gum disease is divided into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, while periodontitis is the advanced stage.
Warning signs of gum disease
Bleeding gums, bad breath, and receding gums are common signs of gum disease:
If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, this could be a sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth when you eat and drink, and if it’s not removed, it can irritate your gums and cause inflammation.
Halitosis, or bad breath, is another common symptom of gum disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can produce unpleasant odors, leading to bad breath.
As gum disease progresses, your gums may begin to recede or pull away from your teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can thrive. Receding gums can also make your teeth look longer than normal and expose the roots of your teeth, causing sensitivity and other dental problems.
Other symptoms may include loose or shifting teeth and changes in your bite or the way your teeth fit together. Keep in mind that gum disease can be present without any symptoms at all, which is why regular dental checkups and cleanings are crucial. Schedule an appointment today at Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles to learn more about the early signs of gum disease!
Risk factors for gum disease
Poor oral hygiene, smoking, and genetics are common risk factors for gum disease. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque can build up on your teeth and gums, leading to gum disease.
Smoking can also increase your risk of developing gum disease because it weakens your immune system and reduces blood flow to the gums. Genetics plays a role in gum disease, as some people may be prone to the infection. Age can also be a factor — older adults are more susceptible to gum disease due to natural wear and tear on the teeth and gums over time.
Consequences of untreated gum disease
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious health problems, such as:
Untreated gum disease can lead to the destruction of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. As a result, your teeth can become loose and eventually fall out. In fact, gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease produces infections in the gums and other parts of the body. When the gum disease bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can travel to other organs and cause infections. For example, gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of pneumonia, as the bacteria can be inhaled into the lungs.
Recent research has suggested that there may be a link between gum disease and heart disease since the bacteria that cause gum disease create inflammation in the arteries. This inflammation can contribute to the development of cardiovascular problems.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, and gum disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes is bidirectional — gum disease can make diabetes worse, and diabetes can make gum disease worse.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable, and there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. If you suspect that you may have gum disease, don’t wait and call us at (786) 629-1503 to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Prevention and treatment of gum disease
Preventing gum disease starts with good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to keep your gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
- Use mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use.
- Visit us regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Treatment for gum disease may include scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged gum tissue or bone.
High-Tech Laser Gum Treatment
At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we offer the LightWalker Laser as a minimally invasive alternative to traditional treatments for gum disease. The laser uses light energy to remove infected tissue and promote healthy tissue growth, making it an effective tool for treating gum disease.
The LightWalker Laser can be used for a variety of gum disease treatments, including scaling and root planing, and laser gum surgery. It also offers faster recovery times compared to traditional methods!
Don’t let gum disease take over!
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, or if you haven’t had a dental checkup in a while, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles. Our dentists can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend the best treatment plan for your individual needs.