Gum Disease. What is it? How to Prevent it.
Richview Family Dentistry wants you to know about gum disease. What causes it, how to treat it, and how it can be prevented.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on teeth.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this stage, it can be treated with professional cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing.
Advanced gum disease is also called periodontitis and can lead to the loss of teeth, tissue, and bone that supports the teeth.
Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients. With this diagnosis, there is rapid loss of gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth and the teeth become loose.
Here are some warning signs:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Some increased risk factors:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Some medications like cancer therapy drugs and oral contraceptives
Your best defense against gum disease is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, eat a balanced diet and schedule regular dental visits.