What Is Gum Disease?

What Is Gum Disease?

Posted by Del Mar Family Dental Care on Apr 22 2021, 08:51 AM

Do you notice blood on toothbrush? Do your gums seem swollen and tender? If you answered yes, you may have gum disease. 

This condition is often painless, so you may not immediately notice it. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to more severe tooth problems. 

Periodontitis and Gingivitis: What Is the Difference?

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. The gums appear puffier and redder than usual. When pressed, your gums may bleed easily. If treated quickly, this mild condition can be reversed. 

Periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic infection that affects the tissues and bones that surround the teeth. This more severe stage occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis is what dentists usually refer to when they speak of gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gingivitis and periodontitis have these symptoms in common:

  • Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing 
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Bad breath
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Receding gums

On top of these symptoms, periodontitis has more serious consequences.

  • Tender gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Deep pocketing between gums and teeth
  • Pus in between the gums
  • Loss of teeth
Other health complications linked to gum disease include:
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Liver failure or kidney failure
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque, a thin layer of leftover food and bacteria in your mouth. This plaque develops if you do not clean your teeth properly.

Eventually, plaque hardens into tartar, which forms beneath your gum line. The resulting infection will affect the gums and cause gum disease.

Here are some risk factors for gum diseases:

  • Smoking 
  • Poor oral hygiene 
  • Heavy alcohol or drug use
  • Diabetes 
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Family history 
  • Certain medications
  • Hormone changes

Gum Diseases Diagnosis and Treatment 

Your dentist will check the medical history of yours and examine the mouth. Check the plaques and tartar formation, and bleeding. Then take X-Ray image of teeth for the deep observation. 

Treatment may involve any of the following procedures: 

  • Scaling
  • Root planing
  • Antibiotics 
  • Flap surgery
  • Periodontal plastic surgery 
  • Tissue grafts 
  • Bone grafts 
  • Guided tissue regeneration 
  • Tissue-stimulating protein

How to Prevent Gum Disease 

  • Brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Floss daily.
  • Rinse with salt water or mouthwash to reduce plaque formation. 
  • Use electric toothbrushes.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco. 
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.

A regular dental checkup is essential for the prevention of gum disease. Healthy gums appear pink and firm. Always keep your gums clean and healthy to avoid bacteria from damaging your teeth.

Del Mar Family dentistry offers expert consultation and advanced gum disease treatments by specialists. Book your appointment now by calling us at (303) 577-0062 or schedule an appointment online!


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