Your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits can influence your gum health. For stronger teeth, make sure your gums are healthy!
Gums can be affected severely because of poor hygiene and diet. In fact, gum disease is one of the most common dental health problems we see today!
Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is basically an infection in the gums that are surrounding your teeth. In adults, it remains one of the top reasons of tooth loss. It is virtually pain-free, and so many patients remain unaware of gum disease.
Dentists look for signs of tooth decay and periodontal disease during regular checkups. We do this by measuring the space present between your gums and the teeth.
What causes gum disease?
It is caused by plaque buildup- a sticky layer of bacteria formed on the teeth. If not removed with brushing, flossing or regular dental checkups, plaque continues building up. It produces toxins that damage your gums.
The disease starts just below the gum line, creating small pockets and separating gums from the teeth. It occurs in two stages:
- Gingivitis It is the early stage of disease where the gums are swollen and red. They bleed easily too. The disease is treatable at this stage and complete elimination is possible through regular brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis If gingivitis is left untreated, it will advance into periodontitis. Both the gums and the bone supporting your teeth will become irreversibly damaged. Infected gums can cause teeth to become loose and easily fall out. Or, they will have to be removed by the dentist.
What increase your risk of developing periodontal disease?
Certain health complications and lifestyle habits can increase the risk. These factors make regular dental visits all the more necessary for you.
- Smoking, chewing tobacco and other forms of substance abuse
- Certain medicines, such as anti-epilepsy drugs, steroids, cancer treatment drugs, oral contraceptives and calcium channel blockers
- Bridges that don’t fit properly
- Old fillings
- Crooked teeth
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Easily bleeding gums
- Red, tender and swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath and bad taste
- Gums pulled away from your teeth
- Pus between the gums and your teeth
- Loose or separating permanent teeth
- Notable changes in how your teeth fit together while biting
- Changes in the way your partial dentures fit
Treating gum disease
Treatments vary depending on the severity of individual gum disease cases. Typically, it includes:
- Periodontal and laser gum surgeries
- Dental implants
- Non-surgical options, such as periodontal trays, scaling and root planing (also called deep cleaning)
Preventing gum disease
Regular checkups and examinations can help maintain your dental health. Maintain good oral hygiene and you won’t have to fear losing your teeth to periodontal disease. Good hygiene can significantly reduce your chances of getting gum disease.
For a healthy smile: brush your teeth regularly, carefully clean between the teeth, take a balanced diet and visit the dentist for routine checkups!
Bleeding gums are one of the most common cases of gum disease that generally goes untreated—paving the way for more dental problems.
One of the quickest ways to diagnose gum disease is evaluating the space between your teeth and gums, and sensing their level of sensitivity. Most people tend to report bleeding gums while brushing their teeth—an area we specialize in at Alexandria Art of Dentistry.
Please feel free to speak with us if you have any questions!
Please fill out the form below, and we will get in-touch with you as soon as possible. If this is a dental emergency, please give us a call at 703.299.9899
Alexandria Art of Dentistry
624 N. Washington St. · Alexandria, Virginia 22314
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