Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In its early stages, you might only notice mild symptoms. When it progresses, gum disease can have serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know:
Bacteria Cause Gum Disease
The bacteria living in your mouth cause gum disease. Brushing, flossing, and regular checkups help keep bacteria from causing serious problems. If you don’t maintain a good oral hygiene routine, however, plaque can build up on your teeth. When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar. This can’t be cleaned away at home and it allows even more bacteria to thrive. The bacteria irritate your gums, causing inflammation.
Gum Disease Has Two Stages
The first stage of gum disease – gingivitis – is not usually serious. You might experience gum swelling, redness, and tenderness. Your gums might bleed when you brush or floss, too. Improving your oral hygiene routine usually reverses gingivitis.
If gingivitis isn’t addressed, it becomes periodontitis. Your gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can get infected. You’ll most likely experience toothaches, swollen gums, and persistent bad breath. The disease also eats away at your bone structure. This leads to tooth loss.
Certain Factors Increase Your Risk
Anyone can get gum disease, but some factors increase your likelihood. People who smoke, have diabetes, or use certain medications are more vulnerable. People who are older or pregnant also have an increased risk.
Treating Gum Disease at Edgewater Dental Arts
There’s nothing fun about gum disease, but there are ways to prevent and treat it! Good oral hygiene and regular checkups keep your gums healthy and happy. Regular exams also allow us to catch gum disease early. At our Annapolis office, we treat gum disease based on how severe it is. Have questions about gum disease or what you can do to keep your mouth healthy? Please reach out to us today!