What Is Gum Disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is present when the tissues that surround your teeth have become inflamed and infected. These tissues have an important job to do; they help hold your teeth in place, and they create a seal to prevent bacteria and other invaders from reaching and infecting deeper tissues. When your gums become compromised through periodontal disease, they’re no longer effective at their job, and additional issues can result. Even if the gum disease present is a mild case, the pain can be significant.
Gum disease can come about because of an excess in bacteria buildup in the mouth, which then leads to infection. The causes can be anything from not brushing enough, to simply a matter of genetics. In addition, the older you get, the more susceptible you may become to experiencing periodontal disease.
Whatever your age or genetic makeup, good oral hygiene can prevent gum disease. This includes regular teeth brushing and flossing, visits to the dentist for checkups and professional cleanings, a healthy diet that reduces sugar consumption while increasing healthy fruits and vegetables (like apples, carrots, and celery), and rinsing out food from your mouth with clean water when you’re out and about and can’t stop to brush your teeth after a meal. These simple habits can go a long way in preventing gum disease.
These are the Symptoms to Watch Out For
Even if you’re doing everything right, periodontal disease can take hold. Here are some of the symptoms to watch for:
- Foul-smelling breath
- Swollen or irritated gums
- Pain when eating or chewing
- Gums that look like they’re receding
- Red or bleeding gums
- Increased mouth or tooth sensitivity
Not all of these symptoms need to be present in every case of periodontal disease. Just because you have one or two of these symptoms doesn’t mean that you have gum disease, but any of these symptoms is an indication that something’s not quite right, and it’s a good idea to see a dentist to see if treatment is recommended.
If periodontal disease is determined to be present, what can be done? The first step is to treat any infection that may be present. This is usually done through antibiotics but may involve other medications as well. Pain medication may also be given to keep pain under control.
Once the infection is under control, other steps can be taken, depending on the stage of your gum disease. Additional treatment may involve a deep-cleaning procedure designed to remove excess accumulation of plaque and tartar under your gum line. Your dentist may have additional recommendations.
At White Smiles Family Dentistry, We Can Help You
Our dentists are trained to recognize gum disease and determine what stage it’s reached. We can recommend a course of treatment designed to heal your gums and eliminate any associated symptoms of pain and discomfort.
If you feel that you or a family member may be experiencing periodontal issues, we invite you to make an appointment with us at your earliest convenience. We will work hard to address the issue and give you the relief you need. Get in touch with White Smiles Family Dentistry in Spring Lake Park today!