Gum disease is an infection that affects the tissues that support and surround your teeth. This condition is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease is normally painless, so many people have gum disease but don’t realize it. Another name for gum disease is periodontal disease. In this article, the experts at Dental One Care in Sterling Heights answer your question: what is gum disease?
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
- Gums That Bleed Easily. Are you one of those people whose gums bleed when you brush, floss, or even when you bite into crunchy food? These are all signs that suggest early stages of gum disease.
- Tender, Swollen and Red Gums. These are signs of inflammation, and inflammation is the body’s way of dealing with an infection. You should therefore visit Dental One Care for a professional evaluation as soon as you notice these signs.
- Large Gingival Pockets. Gingival pockets are the tiny gaps between your teeth and gums. If these gaps become large, that is a sign that you could be suffering from gum disease.
- A Persistent Bad Taste in the Mouth or Bad Breath. You could be suffering from gum disease if you have bad breath despite all your efforts to maintain oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing once each day. Gum disease can also leave a bad taste in your mouth, so consult our team in Sterling Heights dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
- Loose or Separating Teeth. As mentioned earlier, gum disease affects the tissues around the teeth. As the disease progresses, the support provided to the teeth will reduce and your teeth will start becoming loose in their sockets.
- Changes to Your Bite. If your teeth no longer meet properly as you eat, that could be a sign that gum disease has affected the alignment of your teeth. By the time this happens, the condition may have progressed and you need to visit Dental One Care urgently so that your natural teeth can be saved, if possible.
Factors That Increase Your Risk for Gum Disease
- Poor Oral Hygiene. When you aren’t diligent about maintaining oral hygiene through brushing and flossing as recommended by the experts at Dental One Care in Sterling Heights, you increase your risk of developing gum disease because plaque will form more rapidly on your teeth.
- Using Tobacco. People who smoke or chew tobacco stand a high chance of getting gum disease. This is because these tobacco products interfere with the process of saliva production, leading to oral bacteria thriving in your mouth and causing gum disease.
- Crooked Teeth. If you have crooked teeth, you may find it difficult to clean all surfaces of those teeth and that can give gum disease a chance to develop.
- Pregnancy. The hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy increase the likelihood that a woman will develop gum disease. Dentists in Sterling Heights recommend that pregnant women be extra vigilant in taking care of their oral health to avert gum disease.
- Diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing gum disease. This may be because the elevated blood sugar levels limit the ability of the immune system to respond quickly when gum disease sets in.
- Medications. Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, cancer treatments and some epilepsy drugs have been associated with a higher risk of gum disease. It is therefore prudent for you to alert your Sterling Heights dentist about any medication that you are taking so that the right precautions can be taken to safeguard you from gum disease.
- Gum disease usually manifests through three different stages. The first stage is called gingivitis. This stage of the disease is easily reversible if you go to Dental One Care for professional teeth cleaning services and you then become more vigilant about brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums that are swollen and red.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The second stage of gum disease is called moderate periodontal disease. At this time, the gingival pockets get bigger and the characteristics of gingivitis get more pronounced. During this stage, some people develop bad breath as well. The professionals at Dental one Care can treat this stage of the disease through root planing and scaling. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to tame the infection and prevent it from spreading.
We asked our friends at Surfside Kids Dental, a pediatric dentist in Elk Grove, about gum diesase. They said that if moderate periodontal disease isn’t treated, it will progress and become advanced periodontal disease. At this time, your teeth may be noticeably loose. You may also find it hard to eat using the side of the most affected teeth. At this point, the treatment options available will depend on how far the disease has progressed. So, get to a dentist in Sterling Heights, MI as soon as possible.
The best way to prevent gum disease is by following an oral health routine. First, do your part in taking care of your oral health at home by brushing two times each day and flossing once a day. Secondly, visit Dental One Care every six months for a dental checkup and a professional cleaning of your teeth. Those dental visits will also help our professionals to detect any developing problems early so that timely treatment can be administered. In this way, you will retain your perfect smile for many decades to come!