Gum Disease 101: What You Need to Know

March 12, 2018

Most people know that brushing and flossing are important habits to reduce the risk of cavities and decay. But did you know that these dental habits also play a role in the health of your gums? Protecting yourself from gum disease is just as important as preventing the risk of tooth decay.

If gum disease is left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your mouth. Early detection of these dental problems is important so that treatments can be used to reduce the risk of damage.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

How do you know if you have gum disease? Regular visits to the dentist will help you maintain awareness of your dental health. Your dentist will complete a thorough exam to see if any areas of gum disease are developing.

Have you noticed any of these common symptoms of gum disease?

  • Inflamed tissue in your mouth
  • Swollen gums
  • Recurring bleeding in your mouth
  • Sensitivity in the gums
  • Receding gum lines
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth

When these symptoms are present, it is a sign that you should contact a dentist for an appointment as soon as possible.

Do You Have a High Risk for Gum Disease?

Some people don’t have problems with gum disease. But others find that they are prone to these dental problems. Luckily, you can prevent the symptoms with regular dental care.

A few factors will increase your risk of this dental problem. For example, if you smoke or use chewing tobacco, then you have a higher chance of having dental problems, including gum disease. The use of certain types of medications can impact your risk as well.

Treatments to Protect Your Gums

In most situations, gum disease results because of small pockets of infection that are present in your mouth. So it is important that we treat these infections to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Scaling and planing can be used to remove the tartar under the gum line. In some cases, it might be necessary to use a medication to address the infection.

When the gum disease progresses, it might be necessary to have tissue grafted to the area. Receding gums can cause teeth to be loose, resulting in tooth loss or damage to the bone. These problems can be corrected by grafting in tissue to restore the gum line.

Do you have additional questions about gum disease? Regular checkups with your dentist are essential to protect your gum health. Call us today to learn more about the treatments that we offer for this dental condition.