Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold together your teeth. It is exceedingly common, reports indicate that nearly half of all adults over the age of 30 display signs of gum disease. Gum disease poses a danger for a few reasons some of which includes: tooth loss, difficulty chewing, sore gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth.
Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease is a tremendous asset in taking inventory of your own gum health, comparing yourself against these symptoms can help you reevaluate how you are treating your own dental health. The presence or absence of symptoms is not an automatic indicator of whether or not you have some form of gum disease; rather it is a useful exercise to get a benchmark of the health of your gums. Some of the symptoms include: chronic bad breath, puffy and swollen gums, sensitive gums, painful chewing, receding gum line, loose teeth, and sensitive teeth.
Gingivitis is the most commonly occurring form of gum disease and the most mild. The name refers to the inflammation of the gingiva, which is the part of your gum closest to the teeth. While it is not to be underestimated or dismissed, gingivitis is considered to be very treatable with improvements made to oral hygiene. Primarily, gingivitis is treated by brushing well twice a day. Flossing, and regular cleanings from your dentist.
The primary factor of any form of gum disease can be attributed to bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria is quick to fill and form in the mouth and has many carriers, but it is primarily from the foods and drinks people consume. Weaker dental hygiene practices like not regularly brushing and flossing can further exacerbate this issue. The buildup of bacteria as well as other particles like mucus forms a colorless plague onto the teeth. If it is not removed, this plaque can then harden into a tartar that becomes nearly impossible to remove without the help of a dentist. In addition to bacteria, smoking, diabetes, hormone imbalances, and certain medications can contribute towards gum disease. Family history is also a known factor towards gum disease.
By virtue of being common to nearly half of all adults living in the United States, the prevalence of gum disease cannot easily be dismissed. For a handful, gum disease is treated by simple improvements to personal oral hygiene. However, for many others, gum disease can be the first part of many dental complications that will require professional intervention to treat. Your experienced and skilled team at North Valley Dentistry can help treat gum disease at any stage to help you reclaim your dental health.