Gum (periodontal) disease is a chronic infection of the tissues that support your teeth caused by the buildup of plaque- the sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. In the early stages, bacteria-rich plaque builds up, irritating the gums. As the disease progresses, the plaque turns into hard tartar that brushing can't remove, and this can cause the tissues to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can trap infection. Without treatment, gum disease will ultimately lead to permanent tooth loss.
The severity of gum disease can range from simple gum inflammation to serious infections that result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. But gum disease can impact more than your smile. In fact, the same bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease can impact other important systems in your body as well. Recent studies have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as those without gum disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Some patients won't show obvious signs of gum disease. That's why it's important to visit The Dental Dimensions for regular checkups and cleanings. Visit our San Jose dental office as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Tender, red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Loosening or separating of permanent teeth
- Change in your bite
- Pus between the gums and teeth
- Persistent bad breath
Gum Disease Prevention: Start with the Basics
The good news is that being diligent about your dental health can prevent plaque from forming and even reverse early stages of gum disease.
- Visit The Dental Dimensions for routine cleanings and checkups. We can remove tartar build up and check for changes in your mouth.
- Brush at least twice a day- morning and before bed- to remove bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Floss daily to reach areas in between your teeth and along the gumline where harmful plaque accumulates.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients and low in sugary foods and drinks.
Gum disease is a serious oral infection that affects millions of Americans. And while there are several treatments a dentist can perform to treat the problem, it's best to avoid gum disease in the first place by brushing, flossing and visiting The Dental Dimensions for regular exams and cleanings. Start taking care of your gums now to prevent tooth loss and other serious health problems in the future.