Gum disease (also known as gingivitis, periodontal disease, or periodontitis) can start as a minor problem but will continue to get more severe. Although common, most people do not realize that gum disease can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body if left untreated. Brushing your teeth, and caring for your gums daily, is the biggest defence to gum disease. Although it may start with mild inflammation in the gums, it can lead to major bone and soft tissue damage as well as other systemic problems. Bleeding when brushing your teeth is the first sign of gum disease and should not be ignored. By seeking professional support from your dentist, you can receive treatment to help stop gum disease turning into a serious problem.
What causes gum disease?
Unavoidably, our mouths contain bacteria that can form plaque on our teeth. If plaque is not removed through brushing, it hardens to form tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing at home – it can only be removed by a professional dentist/dental hygienist. If plaque and tartar are left to build up on your teeth, they begin to cause problems. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can infect the gums causing gingivitis. If left untreated, this then leads to periodontitis and more serious gum disease.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease.
Smoking, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, certain medications, genetics, and other illnesses can make you more susceptible to gum disease. Signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Relentless bad breath
- Swollen or red gums
- Bleeding or painful gums
- Loose teeth
- Gums that are receding/look smaller
- Pain on chewing
- Sensitive teeth
Gum disease does not just affect your teeth but can cause complications in other parts of your body too. It can put you at risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and problems during pregnancy. How does gum disease cause these problems? If left untreated, it affects the bloodstream, slowly damaging blood vessels in the heart and brain over time. This is why it is important not to let gum disease go unchecked.
There are clear steps that you can take to help avoid gum disease, and treat it if you are worried that you may have symptoms:
- Clean in-between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes before brushing.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
- Visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for check-ups, and thorough cleaning (take special care to have regular check-ups if you are pregnant or have a chronic condition).
- At the first sign of any symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist for an examination.
By seeking treatment early, you can avoid the more serious consequences of gum disease. If you need a dentist then Ascent Dental is always accepting new patients. Working with the latest technology and current research we are here to help you with all your dental requirements. Give Ascent Dental a call today on (303) 975-6987 or fill out our contact form here.