Early Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a common oral health issue. Over half of all adults over the age of 30 have some form of the disease. It occurs when plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth. This buildup causes your gums to become irritated and inflamed. Over time, gum disease only gets worse, affecting the health of your gums, your jawbone, your teeth, and your whole body.
One of the biggest problems with gum disease is that the earliest stage is difficult to detect. You might never know that you have it. By the time you do notice something is wrong, the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage. At Fairmount Dental Center, we can help you to recognize the early warning signs of gum disease, enabling you to get the treatment you need as soon as possible.
Causes of Gum Disease
There are several issues that can lead to the development of gum disease. These issues include
|Poor oral hygiene practices. Even neglecting your oral hygiene occasionally can significantly increase your risk.
|Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean properly. Bacteria have more places to hide.
|Smoking, and other tobacco products. The chemicals in cigarettes restrict the amount of oxygen in your blood and slow your blood flow. They also interfere with your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections.
|Dry mouth. Dry mouth has many causes, such as alcohol consumption and certain types of medications. When your mouth is dry, bacteria can more easily multiply.
Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease
There are a few early signs of gum disease. However, these signs can be subtle, and you may never even know that they are there. Knowing what symptoms to watch out for can help you to get the treatment you need sooner. Early warning signs of gum disease include
|Redness. When gum disease first begins, the bacteria irritate your gums. This irritation causes the tissue to turn red.
|Swelling. The irritation to your gums triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. This causes the gums to begin to swell.
|Bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth.
|Periodontal pocket formation. Healthy gums form a tight seal around your teeth. There may be a slight gap between the tissue and your teeth, but it is no deeper than 3 millimeters. Periodontal pockets 4 millimeter or deeper indicates that gum disease is present.
What Happens without Treatment?
If you do not notice the early warning signs of gum disease, and therefore do not get the treatment you need, the disease only continues to worsen. As the tissue pulls away from your teeth, plaque and bacteria accumulate below the gum line. This causes more irritation and inflammation, which causes the pockets to grow deeper.
The bacteria eventually reach your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. They begin to attack these supporting structures, weakening them. This causes the teeth to become loose. They may even fall out. With advanced gum disease, bacteria can even enter into your bloodstream, which can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease.
There are numerous treatments for gum disease. The type of treatment you receive depends significantly upon how advanced the disease is. Treatments include
|Scaling and root planing.
|Pocket reduction surgery.
|Regenerative procedures such as soft tissue and bone grafting.
Learn More About Gum Disease and Proper Oral Hygiene:
At the first signs of gum disease, it is essential that you seek dental care right away. If you suspect that you have gum disease, contact Fairmount Dental Center at (503) 362-8364 today to schedule your appointment.