Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection that damages and destroys the soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth, causing your teeth to become loose and even fall out.
It is a common yet preventable disease, usually resulting from poor dental hygiene. If you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and schedule professional dental exams and dental cleanings, you can ward off this infection.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
When your gums are healthy, they are a pale shade of pink and fit firmly around your teeth. If you have periodontal disease, you may have some of the following symptoms:
Causes of Gum Disease
The primary cause of gum disease is a bacterial plaque, which is a sticky film formed by bacteria that is left to fester on teeth. The untreated plaque will turn into more severe conditions.
When you eat foods that contain sugar and starch, those substances interact with the bacteria that naturally appear in your mouth and form plaque on your teeth. Daily brushing and flossing removes it, but it regenerates rapidly.
If plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth, it can harden into tartar (also known as calculus), which is much harder to remove. Brushing won’t do the job. You’ll need to come in for a professional cleaning to get rid of it.
Plaque can lead to the least severe form of gum disease, known as gingivitis, wherein the gums near the base of your teeth become irritated and inflamed. Proper oral hygiene can reverse this, however.
If inflamed gums are not treated, they can cause pockets to open up between your teeth and gums. These pockets deepen over time, and bacteria will fill them. These pockets undermine tissue and bone as time goes on, eventually resulting in tooth loss. Chronic inflammation also strains the immune system.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Dental science has unmasked some factors that can increase your risk of gum disease, and these include:
Factors that can increase your risk of periodontitis include:
When to Schedule an Appointment
Keep coming in for dental exams and cleanings once every 6 months. If you see any of the aforementioned symptoms, schedule an appointment right away. The sooner we take action, the more effectively we can reduce and reverse the damage.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (971) 317-8414.