Gum Disease and Treatment
An infection of the mouths gum tissues is known as periodontal
disease, or gum disease. Periodontal disease begins as a silent disease
that often causes no initial pain or uncomfortable symptoms, but instead
slowly causes a deterioration of the supporting tissues in the mouth.
Bacteria that are not properly removed from the teeth begin to
proliferate, turning into a hardened build-up of plaque on the teeth.
If bacteria are not removed and instead left to continue growing,
they can begin to invade the gums and underlying bone. Eventually this
causes the gums to become inflamed, sore and reddened in a condition
known as gingivitis. As time goes one, untreated gingivitis can worsen,
and the gums may even begin to detach from the teeth. This condition is
known as periodontitis, and it can result in a loss of teeth and
increased risk of other health complications, such as heart attack or
Although it is manageable with treatment, periodontal disease affects
approximately three in every four American adults many of whom are
unaware they have the disease at all. Daily oral hygienic habits, such
as brushing and flossing, are primary factors in determining whether
someone is at risk for developing gum disease. Routine dental care
including frequent professional dental cleanings goes a long way in
preventing periodontal disease.
Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is very common, but many people who suffer from
are unaware of the condition until a dentist makes a diagnosis or severe
symptoms begin to set in. Unfortunately, the symptoms of periodontal
disease can be very subtle, and even silent in its earliest stages.
However, there are some warning signs of periodontal disease that can
indicate the need for professional intervention. Knowing and identifying
symptoms of the disease can lead to early diagnosis, treatment and even
reversal of the disease altogether.
Tender or swollen gums If the gums are swollen or tender
to the touch, they may be responding to a bacterial infection. Reddening
is another symptom, as healthy gum tissues appear pale pink in hue and
are firm to the touch.
Gums that bleed bleeding gums are one of the most common
signs of periodontal disease. Gums may easily and bleed during brushing,
flossing or while chewing hard foods. The bleeding is usually minor, but
tends to occur on a regular basis.
Difficulty chewing Chewing food
should not be an uncomfortable process. If chewing becomes painful or
difficult, it is important to seek attention from a dentist or
Bad breath Bad breath that persists despite regular
brushing and flossing can be an indication of periodontal disease. Bad
breath is typically caused by a proliferation of bacteria that invade
the soft tissues and cause chronic odor.
Changes to the gum line As periodontal disease begins to
advance, it is common to experience changes to the gum line. Gums begin
to deteriorate, causing them to recede or pull away from the teeth. Left
untreated, this can lead to eventual tooth loss.
Sores or pus Advanced periodontal disease can cause sores to
develop within the mouth, which can be especially uncomfortable.
Additionally, pus may begin to seep out along the gum line a definite
indicator of a bacterial infection.
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