Gum disease is one of the biggest threats to an individual's oral health. It is one of the most common reasons people visit the dentist. In fact, some studies indicate that as many as 80 per cent of people have some form of this condition. Do you?
What Is it?
Gum disease is a condition in which bacteria grow in the mouth to a significantly higher level than is normal. When this happens, the bacteria form a layer of plaque that covers the teeth. This plaque and tartar build up can cause a lot of inflammation to occur at the gum line. Over time, the gums, which are soft tissues, become inflamed and breakdown. This is painful and it can lead to long-term problems, too.
Do I Have It?
The signs and symptoms of gum disease are often very easy to see.
- Are your gums inflamed and red as a result?
- Are the gums tender?
- Are they receding, or pulling away from the teeth?
- Are the teeth loose?
- Do you have blood in the sink after brushing your teeth?
If you have any of these symptoms of gum disease, it is important to talk to your dentist about them right away.
What Happens If You Don't Treat It?
If you do not do anything to treat gum disease, it will worsen. Gum disease can worsen from gingivitis to periodontal disease. This can cause a number of problems:
- The gum disease will progress and the gums will pull away from the teeth.
- This leaves the roots of the teeth vulnerable to infections.
- The condition can worsen and begin to affect the bone structure of the jaw.
- You can lose your teeth.
There is also evidence that links gum disease and periodontal disease (the more serious form) to strokes and heart attacks. It is critical that you do take action.
What Can Be Done?
When you come into our office, we will work with you to assess the problem. A deep cleaning or root planing may be necessary to remove the plaque build-up. In some cases, you may need antibiotics to treat the infections present. We will then plan a course of action for treating and reversing your gum disease.
Do not wait until it hurts. Come in to see us as soon as possible to get this under control.