Gum Disease: Causes, Prevention, and Care

Gentle Dental

Over 80% of American adults have some form of gum disease. Nevertheless, most adults do not know they are experiencing symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease and how to properly care for your teeth.

What is Gum Disease?
The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. In the beginning stages, you may notice inflammation, swelling, redness, and bleeding near your gums. As the disease progresses, your gum tissue and bone are irreversibly damaged as plaque builds up beneath your gum line, causing your gums to separate from your teeth. In severe cases, periodontitis can result in tooth loss.

Causes of Gum Disease
It’s important to identify risk factors related to gum disease in order to establish a preventative care routine. Causes of gum disease include:

  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Crowded or crooked teeth
  3. Tobacco use
  4. Poor nutrition
  5. Stress
  6. Genetics
  7. Hormonal fluctuations

Symptoms of Gum Disease
During your routine dental exams, your dentist will assess the health of your gums and teeth. The common symptoms of gum disease include:

  1. Bleeding gums
  2. Red, swollen, or tender gums
  3. Bad breath
  4. Receding gums
  5. Pain when chewing
  6. Loose teeth

How to Prevent Gum Disease
To prevent gum disease, you must prevent bacteria and plaque from forming along your gum line. If you’re not in the habit of brushing twice a day, flossing twice a day, and visiting your dentist for routine check-ups, now is the time to start. Skimping on basic oral care can lead to more severe dental problems down the line. In addition to keeping a diligent oral hygiene routine, arrange bi-annual dental checkups with your dentist. He or she can help you identify risk factors for gum disease and refer you to a periodontist if your case is severe.

How is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease treatment aims to reduce swelling, decrease your risk of gum infection, and reduce the separation of your gums from your teeth. The specific treatment your dentist recommends will depend on the severity of your case. There are a variety of nonsurgical therapies and surgeries to restore gum tissue.

Final Word:
It’s time to be proactive about your oral health. To support your teeth and gums, schedule regular appointments with your dentist. He or she can identify early symptoms of gum disease and recommend the best course of treatment for your specific dental condition.