Gum disease is a condition that threatens your oral health as well as the health of your whole body.
It is extremely prevalent; according to the American Academy of Periodontology, half of American adults have some form of gum disease.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware they have the condition until they visit a dentist or begin experiencing symptoms.
What Causes Gum Disease?
- Gum disease is caused by bacteria, which form plaque on the teeth. The plaque hardens on the teeth and irritates the gums, causing unpleasant symptoms. At this stage the condition is known as gingivitis, and it can be reversed with proper treatment from a dentist.
- If gum disease is allowed to progress, however, the patient is at risk for serious problems. Patients with advanced gum disease may suffer loss of teeth, bone, and tissue, as well as an increased risk of heart disease, and potentially a higher risk of developing certain cancers.
- Pregnant women with gum disease are also at risk for premature birth.
Signs of Gum Disease
Though some people have gum disease without knowing it, the condition often presents itself with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Redness or swelling gums
- Bleeding gums, including when you brush or floss
- Gum tenderness/pain when chewing
- Gum recession (pulling away from teeth)
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth or dentures not fitting together properly
- Teeth becoming loose
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to see your dentist.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease treatment varies depending on the individual case. Often, it includes a procedure called planing and scaling and/or the use of antibiotics. Patients with advanced gum disease will need to see their dentist regularly to control the condition.
Remember, by catching gum disease in its earliest stage (gingivitis), you can reverse the disease and restore your oral health.
If gum disease is allowed to advance, however, you put yourself at risk for tooth loss and other major problems.
Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is an easy way to prevent gum disease, but if you are already experiencing symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment right away.
Everyone experiences bad breath at some time or another, especially after a garlic-heavy meal or first thing in the morning. But what if bad breath becomes a chronic problem that mints or mouthwash can’t conquer?
Your teeth or gums may be to blame. Once you understand what’s causing your bad breath, you can move on to treating it.
Are your teeth causing bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by lingering bacteria. When food particles aren’t removed after you eat, the bacteria will multiply quickly and cause a foul-smelling odor. That’s one reason flossing is so important – there are areas in your mouth a toothbrush cannot reach, and when particles are left behind, bad breath results.
Bad breath can also be a sign of decay. If you are experiencing chronic halitosis, you may have a cavity that is allowing particles to enter and rot.
Are your gums causing bad breath?
Bad breath can also be a symptom of gum disease. When bacteria is allowed to form plaque and enter your gums, pockets of infection develop.
- Infection anywhere in your body can create a foul odor, and your gums are no exception.
- Once the bacteria have entered the gums and gum disease has developed, it’s impossible to take care of the situation yourself.
- You’ll need to undergo treatment with a periodontist to restore the health of your mouth.
- If you are experiencing symptoms such as bleeding, swollen, or painful gums, gum disease may be the cause of your bad breath.
Finding a Fix for Bad Breath
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the key to keeping your breath fresh. This means brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and drinking plenty of water to keep bacteria flushed out of your mouth.
- If you’re still experiencing bad breath despite practicing good oral hygiene, talk to your dentist.
- Something else may be causing your bad breath, and it’s important to figure out what that is.
- We can also provide you with a bad breath kit to help get your breath smelling fresher.
Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem, but don’t let that prevent you from seeking treatment. With good habits and perhaps some extra help from your dentist, you can get your breath smelling fresh once again.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the area surrounding the teeth. Common symptoms include swollen and/or irritated gums, sensitivity, and receding gums. Many adults have the beginning stages of gum disease and aren’t even aware. If you experience pain or bleeding when brushing or flossing, it is likely a sign that infection is present and it’s time to see your dentist.
The Progression of Gum Disease
There are three stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
- In the first stage, gingivitis, the gums are simply irritated and a minor infection is present. This is the best time to seek attention from a periodontist so treatment can begin early.
- If the gum disease moves to the second stage, periodontitis, further infection sets in. The patient may have pus form between the gums and teeth, and the gum line may begin to recede away from the teeth.
- If the gum disease is allowed to become advanced periodontitis, tooth loss is likely. At this stage, the gums, bone, and tooth are all at risk.
Gum disease in any stage should be taken seriously. At Fixari Dental, Drs. Mark and Shayne Fixari provide gum disease detection and treatment to help patients restore their oral health and avoid future complications.
The Importance of Getting Gum Disease Treatment
- Gum disease can be devastating to your oral health, causing tooth and bone loss as well as significant pain around the teeth and gums. That’s why it’s so important to see your dentist regularly, and to schedule an appointment if you notice signs of gum disease.
- Gum disease can also impact your overall health and well being. People with gum disease are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes complications, and certain cancers, among other conditions. As you can see, detecting and treating gum disease as soon as possible is crucial.
Gum Disease Treatment
Fortunately, there are treatments available to manage periodontal disease before permanent damage has been done.
- Patients who have gingivitis often require a simple cleaning to restore their oral health. Rest assured, early signs of gum disease are easily treated and very manageable. We can provide you with the tools you need to keep your oral health in check.
- You may be given medicated mouthwash or antibiotics to clear up any infection that may be present. You may also receive special instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums, such as using a particular type of toothbrush.
- If the periodontal disease is more advanced, scaling and planing may be necessary. This deep cleaning treatment removes tartar and plaque, prevents further plaque from attaching to the root surface, and allows the area to heal.
Though common, gum disease should be taken seriously and treated promptly. Drs. Mark and Shayne Fixari are prepared to help you improve your oral health and take care of your teeth and gums with effective treatments and self-care. If you are near Columbus, OH and are experiencing signs of gum disease, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Fixari Dental.