It can be easy to let your dental hygiene habits slip. Life comes at us fast – family, work, fun – it can be hard to balance.
Plus, it is so easy to let boring things like brushing and flossing fall by the wayside. Gum disease is one of the dangers that can creep into your mouth without any noticeable signs or symptoms.
Gum disease is one of the many reasons we at Middle Creek Dental encourage you to visit us at least two times a year for a cleaning and dental exam.
Gum disease is characterized by unusually red or swollen gums, tender gums, loose or sensitive teeth, and persistent bad breath.
Another common symptom is bleeding gums when brushing your teeth. At Middle Creek Dental, we have different treatment plans to treat your gums and improve your oral and general health.
What is gum disease?
The early stages of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is known to have hard to detect symptoms. People with it probably won’t feel any discomfort or easily notice any signs.
To detect gingivitis, we generally look for gums that bleed easily and are red or swollen. Healthy gums should appear pink in color. Another sign of early gum disease is bad breath that just won’t go away.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress it can reach the more serious classification of periodontitis. Periodontitis is similar to gingivitis in that it is hard to know when/if you have it.
Discomfort is rare but other signs will start to show. When the gums start to separate from the teeth leaving a gap, or if the teeth start feeling loose to the touch that is a telltale sign of periodontal disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the amalgamation of bacteria and mucus in our mouth that causes plaque.
Over time, unless removed through regular brushing, plaque hardens to form tartar, which can only be removed professionally by a dental hygienist or a dentist during a preventative visit.
Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease in advanced stages and gingivitis in the early stages, can also be caused by smoking or chewing tobacco which makes your gum tissues susceptible to infections. In women, it can be caused by hormonal imbalances.
Other causes include improper nutrition, for instance, lack of vitamin C, medications that dry your mouth, crooked teeth that cannot be cleaned properly through brushing, and genetics.
The Dangers of Gum Disease
If caught in the early stages, gum disease can be controlled and even reversed. You can have your healthy gums back if you pay very close attention to your oral health and work to reverse the trend of the deterioration of your gums.
If not caught early enough, or if it allowed to progress, gum disease can easily lead to tooth and bone loss.
Gum disease progresses from soft to hard tissue. As mentioned, it starts with inflamed gums which deteriorate and eventually it spreads to the teeth.
Finally, once the teeth have been thoroughly affected it can spread to the bone underlying the gums and teeth. It is not uncommon for advanced cases of periodontal disease to result in full tooth loss.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
The biggest risk factor for gum disease is the lack of oral hygiene. If you are not actively taking care of your mouth, there is a good chance that at some point you will develop gum disease.
The amount of time a mouth can be neglected before developing gum disease differs greatly from person to person.
Smoking and tobacco use puts people at high risk of developing gum disease as well. Pregnancy and diabetes can also allow it to gain purchase in your mouth.
At Middle Creak Dental we encourage regular dental and periodontal checkups for all our patients. There is a lot we can do to slow, reverse, and treat gum disease.
Treatment methods vary based on how far the disease has been allowed to progress.
How Curable is Gum Disease?
Although periodontitis, the most serious version of gum disease, is not completely curable, it is controllable.
However, moderate, and mild cases are curable through various treatments involving surgical and non-surgical procedures. Non-surgical procedures include professional dental cleaning, scaling, and root planing.
Professional dental cleaning is a preventative measure against gum disease and is not by itself a treatment for advanced gum disease.
In scaling, plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line and planing is done to smoothen the tooth's surface.
Surgical treatment includes bone grafts, guided tissue regeneration, flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, and bone surgery.
Bone grafting is the process of replacing damaged bone using synthetic bone, the patient’s bone, or bones harvested from animals.
Guided tissue regeneration is performed together with flap surgery; the latter flaps the gum to remove tartar from underneath it while the former involves placing a mesh fabric between the gum tissue and the jawbone.
Soft tissue grafts are grafts placed on degenerated or receding gum tissues. Mild cases of gum disease can be treated with prescribed antibiotics.
Is Gum Disease Contagious?
Gum disease is not contagious. But it must be stated that bacteria that cause gum disease can be transmitted from one person to the other through kissing, or sharing the same utensils.
Even so, good oral health practices such as regular brushing and flossing will curtail the odds of contracting gum disease even after contact with saliva.
Can Gum Disease Make You Sick?
Advanced gum disease can lead to other health issues. These include heart disease or risk of stroke, respiratory problems, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, or increased risk of dementia.
All of these can occur when the bacteria spread from the mouth to other body organs. Advanced gum disease heightens the chances of suffering from these diseases.
Patients are advised to seek immediate medical attention whenever they suspect gum disease so that it is managed and does not progress. Remember that gingivitis, the mild version of the disease, can successfully be cured.
Call Us Today!
If you suspect gum disease visit Middle Creek Dental today. Call us at (208) 505-9975and we will set up a consultation appointment.
Our dentist will perform extensive evaluations to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for you.
Gum Disease | Middle Creek Dental - Nampa, ID Curious about gum disease? Click through the link to learn more and find out why you can trust Middle Creek Dental with all your dental needs. Middle Creek Dental, 155 S. Midland Blvd, Nampa, ID 83686 \ (208) 505-9975 \ middlecreekdental.net \ 2/26/2024 \ Tags: gum disease Nampa ID \