Nearly half of Americans suffer from some form of periodontitis. But, what exactly is gum disease? And what can you do about it? The team at Generations Dental Care, your premier dentist in Concord, give you the facts about how to prevent and treat this common condition that can eventually lead to tooth loss, among other serious maladies.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. It progresses through the stages below, and is generally caused by the presence of bacteria from food (especially sweets) in the mouth.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
You’ve probably heard the term gingivitis, which defines the early stage of gum disease. During this initial phase, the gums become swollen and red because harmful bacteria thrive between the teeth and infect the tissue.
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding while brushing and flossing
- Receding gum line
- Bad breath
Stage 2: Periodontitis
Gingivitis can progress into this condition that results in the damage of soft tissue and loss of bone that supports your teeth.
- Swollen, bright red gums
- Tender gums
- Spaces between the teeth
- Buildup of pus between teeth and gums
- Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth that don’t fit together when you bite
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
In this stage, the bone tissue that holds your teeth is destroyed. This can lead to loose teeth that need to be removed, or eventually fall out on their own – leading to the need for dentures or dental implants.
- Chronic bad breath
- Swollen and bleeding gums
- Severe receding gums
- Deep periodontal pockets
- Loose or misaligned teeth
What Are The Dangers Of Gum Disease?
Most obviously, gum disease can cause a patient to lose their teeth. And, although this condition is common, that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. The American Academy of Periodontology reports that, “gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer” (2010).
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
As with many health conditions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to keeping your gums and smile healthy.
- Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day.
- Floss twice a day – every day.
- See your dentist at least twice a year.
- Keep a close eye on your oral hygiene if you have a family history of gum disease.
- Stay in shape since people at a healthier body weight have less rates of this condition.
- Avoid sugar to quell bacteria.
- Stop smoking and discontinue tobacco use.
- Don’t ignore bleeding gums – this troubling symptom is a sign of problems that should be addressed asap.
How Can You Treat My Gum Disease?
Our team of 4 expert dentists are your preferred choice for treating gum disease in Concord. We can use mouthrinses to get ahead of the problem in the early stages of gingivitis. If things progress to periodontitis or more advanced stages of the disease, we can use laser therapy to remove troubled tissue and promote the regeneration of healthy gums.
And, if you’ve lost a tooth due to poor gum health, don’t despair – a lost tooth doesn’t have to stay that way with our dental implants.
To make the biggest impact on your dental health, schedule your appointment with Generations Dental Care to save your gums and keep your smile bright.