Recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that over 60 million Americans over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease. Many of them experience the more advanced version, known as periodontitis. Gum disease can sometimes be asymptomatic which is why it’s important for individuals to be aware of causes, treatments, and prevention methods.
Gum disease often develops from a lack of proper oral hygiene. When people fail to brush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily, they put themselves at risk of having plaque buildup and turn into tartar, or calculus. Plaque is usually invisible and sticky, and is made up of the bacteria that develops when starches and sugars from leftover food interact with the normal bacteria in the mouth. If plaque isn’t removed daily, it hardens under the gum line and collects even more bacteria. Hardened plaque cannot be removed by floss, and if left untreated for long enough, it will eventually cause irritation along the gum line. Once tartar develops, a dental professional will have to remove it with special tools.
If tartar remains unremoved, the gums become more irritated, swollen, and inflamed. The gums will also bleed easily when brushed or flossed. Tooth decay could also result from infected gums. The longer the gums remain infected, the more likely individuals will experience tooth loss.
Other potential causes of gum disease include:
Aside from gums that are swollen, irritated, or bloody, other symptoms of gum disease include:
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s critical to visit a dental professional so they can immediately treat the issue. The sooner gum disease is treated, the better. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. During this stage the gums often become red, swollen, and sensitive to brushing and flossing. Fortunately, this is the stage where the infection is still reversible.
When gum disease advances into periodontitis, individuals could suffer from loss of tissue as well as the portion of bones that support the teeth. Individuals will soon feel their teeth loosen and eventually fall out. This stage of gum disease could happen at any age. Therefore, maintaining dental checkups at least twice a year will allow dentists to keep track of the mouth and treat as necessary.
At McBride Dental, we offer gum disease treatment for those who are suffering from various stages of gum disease. For those who have been treated, or want to avoid developing gum disease, we also offer preventative care services to help our clients maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you are in the San Diego area and are interested in our services, call to schedule an appointment at 760-471-1003.