gum disease

Gum disease and your health

Gum disease or periodontal disease is a common disease that occurs in the mouth that can progress to cause tooth loss and additional health issues.  If you have been told you have gum disease you should be aware that not only can the disease affect your oral health but it can also affect your overall health and wellbeing.  Gum disease has been shown to increase the likelihood of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, low birth weights, premature births and even Alzheimer’s disease.  Treating gum disease by catching it before it progresses is the goal of our practice and is part of a regular dental check-up.

Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque that constantly forms on your teeth.  Plaque is the sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains harmful bacteria that if not treated effectively can cause tooth loss and other harmful diseases.  There are three forms of gum disease each with increased degrees of seriousness.  The first stage is gingivitis and is the earliest stage of gum disease that is caused by plaque buildup at the gumline.  The second stage, periodontitis, occurs when the supporting bone and fibers holding your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged.  The third stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis and means that the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed resulting in shifting or loose teeth.

Signs that you may have gum disease include red, swollen or tender gums; gums that bleed during brushing; loose or shifting teeth; bad breath and receding gums.  Some people who have gum disease may not experience any of the above symptoms.  It is important to understand the problems associated with gum disease and take good care of your teeth at home and visit the dentist biannually so they can check for signs of gum disease.  If you think you may be showing signs of gum disease contact our office today to get a complete evaluation and to prevent its progression..