Gum disease is one of the most common, yet most serious oral health conditions. More than half of adults over the age of 35 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. While beginning stages of gum disease, like gingivitis, are easily treated without any real consequences, if your gum disease goes untreated, you could face serious threats to your smile as well as your overall health. Like many diseases, knowledge is key to preventing and detecting gum disease. Let’s take a closer look at the causes, symptoms and potential outcomes of this prevalent condition.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection within the gums or those delicate soft tissues that hold your teeth in place. The infection typically begins when harmful bacteria, plaque and food debris are allowed to accumulate around the base of the teeth and gum line. This can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums (known as gingivitis). If left alone, the gums may respond by pulling away from the tooth roots and forming deep pockets of tissue that further exacerbate an infection. A more advanced stage of gum disease is referred to as periodontitis, which can involve a destruction of gums and bone due to the lingering infection.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is hard to detect at first. In fact, your routine dental visits become extra important in detecting slight changes in your gum tissues that may indicate a brewing infection. In general, patients should be on the lookout for the following symptoms of gum disease:
• Red, bleeding, tender gums
• Chronic bad breath
• Persistent bad taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Tooth sensitivity
• Loose teeth or change in denture fit
What If I Don’t Treat Gum Disease?
If you choose to ignore gum disease or delay treatment, there’s some serious risks at stake. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. If that isn’t enough to get you to the dentist, you should know that gum disease has also been linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart attack and premature birth. The bottom line is that infections of any kind demand treatment, especially when they involve your mouth – the gateway into your body!
Treatment From a Trusted Manhattan Dentist
Gum disease treatment can take on many forms depending the severity or stage of your condition. It may be as simple as brushing and flossing better or getting a “deep cleaning” (scaling and root planing) at your dental office. If your gum disease is more advanced, there are laser and surgical options to eradicate the infection and save your smile from further damage.
Concerned with the health of your gums? Don’t dismiss it. Call Manhattan Dental Design today to learn about your treatment options.
Posted on behalf of Manhattan Dental Design