Gum disease is a devastating disease that can lead to major damage to the teeth and underlying bone. If left untreated, you risk both tooth loss and bone deterioration. A periodontal screening is part of your regular check-up at Thompson Advanced Dentistry. This allows our dental team to diagnose and treat it as soon as possible to limit the damage. Dr. Joseph Thompson offers treatment for gum disease and is welcoming new patients from Evans, CO who are seeking a new dentist.
What Causes Gum Disease
Most cases of gum disease are caused by a lack of proper oral care. When your teeth and gums are neglected and not properly cleaned daily, a sticky, bacteria-filled substance called plaque will begin to accumulate on the teeth and near the gums. Plaque is removed with regular brushing and flossing.
Plaque can also hide in hard-to-reach places in the mouth that can only be removed by a registered dental hygienist. If it is not regularly removed, this bacteria-fill substance will cause infections in the gum tissue. Other causes of gum disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, TMJ disorders, pregnancy, and poor nutrition.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most important thing to realize about the signs and symptoms of gum disease is that they are not always obvious. Unfortunately, not many people realize they have the disease until it is too late. This is why it is very important to visit our Evans, CO area dentist office to be screened for periodontal disease every six months. The more obvious signs of this disease include:
- Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed especially when brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth – When gums become infected, the underlying bone becomes weak and starts to deteriorate which can lead to the surrounding teeth becoming loose
- Chronic halitosis (bad breath) – This is typically caused by the bacteria in the mouth
- Pus around the teeth and gums – This is a clear sign that an infection is present in the gums
- Receding gums – The infected gums will begin to pull away from the teeth making your teeth appear longer and the tooth roots become exposed
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen and is a clear sign of inflammation
- Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth and cause discomfort
Stages of Gum disease
Gingivitis: This early stage of gum disease is often diagnosed at your regular checkup to the dentist. Here, the bacteria have begun to form pockets in the gums. This will cause the gums to feel sore and inflamed and they may even begin to recede. It is easy for a dentist to diagnose gingivitis and typically treatment is conservative.
Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left untreated, it will advance into periodontitis which is a more debilitating stage. Here, there is permanent damage to the gum tissue and the teeth are now weakened. While treatment is possible, it is harder to restore oral health. If left untreated, periodontitis will lead to bone loss and tooth loss.