Identifying gum disease early can help Dayton area patients save their natural teeth
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the soft tissues in the mouth. While it is more common in men and older adults, it can affect patients of all ages. It develops when plaque accumulates around and underneath the gum line.
Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease is a bacterial infection that can cause chronic bad breath and swollen, bleeding gums. It is the mildest form of the disease and it can be controlled and reversed.
However, once gum disease progresses, the toxins from the bacterial infection will damage the gum tissue and bone, and can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Identifying gum disease early is the key to a good prognosis. By being aware of the common signs, patients can seek early intervention and stop the disease before it causes irreversible damage.
The most common signs of early gum disease are:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding while brushing
- Bad breath
- Loose or shifting teeth
The progression of gum disease can cause both the gums and bone to recede. This is because the body’s natural immune response to fight the infection will break down the bone. Eventually, the tooth root can become exposed and lead to an increase in sensitivity. Patients may also experience pockets that form between the teeth and the gums. In many cases, the teeth will shift and become loose, either falling out or requiring extraction.
In general, gum disease is caused by ineffective oral hygiene. When plaque is not regularly removed from the mouth, it can harden and turn into tartar, which can lead to gum disease. Other causes can include smoking, certain medications, and habits such as bruxism. Women who are pregnant or going through other hormonal changes may be at an increased risk for gum disease.
There are various forms of treatment for gum disease. Which treatment is right for you will depend on how far the disease has advanced. During your examination, your dentist will be able to recommend treatment options. They may include deep cleaning, medication, or in some cases, surgical procedures.
If you live in the Dayton area and have been living with gum disease or want more information on identifying the signs and symptoms, call today and set up an appointment.
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