Do you have swollen gums? Is there evidence of blood after cleaning your teeth? Are you aware these are early signs of gum disease? If you have any of these symptoms, take a few minutes to read our five quick facts about gum disease.
There are two types of gum disease
The first type of gum disease is Gingivitis. It is a milder form and the easiest type to treat. Early signs include red, swollen and tender gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Left untreated, gingivitis becomes a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. In addition to the symptoms already mentioned, the irritated gum tissue begins to pull away from your teeth. This creates pockets that quickly become a convenient place for more bacteria to build up. At this stage, your gums are fully infected.
Gum disease is preventable
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria left on the surface of your teeth. This layer of bacteria is called plaque, and it is mostly harmless. When it is not cleaned away, however, this film can begin to irritate and infect your gums. The best prevention against gingivitis includes properly brushing and flossing your teeth and gums twice a day, and regular professional teeth cleanings.
Gum disease is treatable
If you already have signs of gum disease, don’t delay getting to your dentist. It is more easily treated in the early stages, and you are less likely to have permanent damage. Even if you already have periodontitis, however, it can still be brought under control.
Gum disease can lead to loss of bone and teeth
One fact that may come as a surprise to you is that gum disease is still the most common reason adults lose their teeth. If you have periodontitis and continue to delay treatment, the bone that gives supports your teeth is also at risk. This makes treatment extremely difficult and really expensive.
Smokers are at greater risk for gum disease
Another lesser known fact about gum disease is that smokers may be more likely to get it. This is because inhaled smoke leaves behind a greater amount of damaging bacteria in the mouth.
Where can you learn more?
If you have any questions about gum disease, please ask!