Gum disease is one of the most serious and common oral conditions that often go under the radar. This may be due to the spread of misconceptions or lack of awareness of this disease. Alternatively, it could be because more renowned oral ailments such as tooth decay, cavities, and impacted molars have overshadowed it.
The lack of knowledge about this disease is a serious issue, especially with your dental health on the line. Fortunately, this post exposes the facts about gum disease that you should know. Read on to learn more so you can take proper steps towards maintaining clean and healthy gums.
What is gum disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease or periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissue and bone that supports the teeth. It occurs when the gum tissue becomes seriously infected due to tartar and plaque accumulation below the gum line. Advanced stages involve severe damage to your jaw bone and eventually cause tooth loss.
Gum disease symptoms
Periodontal gum disease symptoms are easy to spot. Visit your dentist immediately for proper gum disease treatment once you notice any of the following warning signs:
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums (or gums that bleed easily)
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Pain when chewing
How gum disease develops
Periodontal diseases don’t happen immediately. 4 stages are involved in their development. These include:
Gingivitis – This form of gum disease occurs at the disease’s early stage. It is characterized by tender, red, swollen, or bleeding gums and is often reversible.
Slight periodontal – When you do not treat gingivitis, it progresses into this stage. Here, the bones are infected and are beginning to deteriorate. This stage is irreversible, but you can manage it with treatments.
Moderate Periodontal – Your bones, bloodstream, and immune system are infected at this stage.
Advanced periodontal – At this stage, you may experience rapid bone loss. Your teeth would begin to fall out of your gum line.
Fact about gum disease
Lack of information and various misconceptions contributed to the inadequate prevention of periodontitis. Hopefully, the facts below will enlighten you about the disease and encourage you to seek the right treatments.
Gum disease is a widespread problem
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of all adults aged 30 or more exhibit the signs of periodontitis. That means it’s a widespread condition since over 64.7 million people already have uncomfortable symptoms.
It’s a silent disease
The earliest signs of periodontitis are easy to ignore or miss. That means you may have the disease and not know it. This is why we advise that you visit your dentist regularly to spot any issues early when they are reversible.
It’s not limited to the elderly
A popular misconception is that periodontitis only affects the elderly. The truth is: it can affect people of all ages. That’s why you need to schedule your kids for regular checkups and encourage them to practice healthy oral habits.
Periodontitis is contagious
Periodontitis causing bacteria can spread from one person to another through saliva. So, kissing, sharing toothbrushes, and drinking or eating utensils with an infected individual may put you at risk.
Chronic bad breath is an indication of gum disease
It’s perfectly normal to wake up with a “less-than-fresh” feeling in your mouth. But if bad breath keeps coming back even after you’ve brushed your teeth, you could be suffering from periodontitis. This ailment is due to the accumulation of bacteria on your gums and teeth, which produces an unpleasant odor. The use of mints and breath fresheners will not help until you address the cause of the problem.
Gum disease is related to other serious illnesses
Studies have shown that periodontal disease can affect more than your teeth. In fact, it’s one of the risk factors for developing serious illnesses like cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Periodontitis can be hereditary
Studies suggest that even if you’re meticulous in your oral hygiene, you may be more susceptible to periodontitis if it’s in your family history. However, this susceptibility does not mean that periodontitis is unavoidable. Regular dental checkups with good dental habits can help you avoid the disease.
Pregnant women with gum disease can put their unborn baby at risk
When periodontitis-causing bacteria enter the bloodstream, they produce toxins that can affect your unborn child’s development. The condition has been linked with premature delivery and low birth weight – which can cause other health issues for your baby.
Dairy products can help prevent it
Healthy food, especially dairy products, will keep you healthy and help prevent periodontitis. They contain calcium and other mineral elements that help lower acidity levels, rebuild your tooth enamel and fight tooth decay.
The absence of cavities does not mean you don’t have it
Another common misconception is that having no cavities means you have healthy gums and teeth. However, the truth is: gum and tooth health are totally different from one another. So, your teeth can be perfectly healthy while your gums are infected.
Regular brushing is not enough to prevent it
Regular brushing and flossing are some of the best ways to prevent gum disease and maintain oral health. This removes plaque and food particles that might otherwise hide between your teeth and cause issues. However, they are not enough to prevent periodontitis. Visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and examination is the most effective way to remove the bacteria in hard-to-reach areas of your gum line.
Gum disease treatment in Charlotte and Concord
Periodontitis is a silent disease that can wreak havoc on your oral health and overall well-being if left untreated. So, you need to take action now to prevent the damage and protect your smile.
At Modern Family Dental Care, we know that early detection is a crucial defense in stopping the progression of periodontal disease. That’s why we offer dental examinations to spot issues early and provide professional cleaning and gum disease treatments in Charlotte and Concord for mild to severe conditions. We also offer recommendations to prevent gum disease and keep your oral health in tip-top shape. Contact our dentists in Concord Mills, Davis Lake, and Northlake to learn more or book an appointment today.