Maintaining healthy and clean teeth is certainly an important part of your general oral health, but this does not tell the whole story. If you want a healthy mouth, you need healthy gums since they are responsible for supporting your teeth. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults that may not result in pain, and you may not even be aware that you have this problem until it is too late.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease, is a chronic gum infection of the mouth. Over time, something called plaque can form on your teeth. This sticky and colorless coating can be prevented through daily brushing and flossing. If you do not maintain good oral health habits, plaque may form and harden into something called tartar. If these materials remain on your teeth for a long time, they can release toxins that affect your gums. Your gums react to the presence of the toxins by becoming inflamed or breaking down.
Pockets that harbor bacteria can also develop in your gums. The bacteria found here can multiply and move deeper into your gums and underlying bone. When this happens, teeth can loosen or even fall out. Tooth extraction may be necessary when the damage has become severe enough.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease can sometimes be hard to detect, especially in its early stages. However, it is still possible to notice symptoms like gums that grow tender, swollen, and red. When you brush or floss, your gums can start bleeding. You may also have bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. As gum disease grows more serious, your gums may start receding. When this happens, your teeth can grow looser in your mouth. If your teeth no longer fit together like before, you should probably suspect gum disease.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Once we have diagnosed you with periodontal disease, we can begin your treatment. Most likely, we will clean your teeth by descaling them, particularly if you are in the early stages of the disease. We may also perform another procedure. Early periodontal disease is usually treated readily when detected early. If your gum disease has become advanced in its progression, you may need to undergo surgery.