Gum Disease

gum-disease

Gum disease: Don’t let it go untreated.

Gum disease can be very dangerous not to the health of your mouth, but to your overall health as well. Luckily, gum disease is easily preventable. That’s right.

You can prevent gum disease with regular visits to Loudoun Dental Associates.

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease affects the all-too-important tissue that supports your teeth, and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. But what’s especially scary about gum disease is that it’s often painless, and so many people who have it don’t even know they have it. Yikes!

That’s why it’s so important to maintain a routine and regular schedule of checkups with the good dentists of Loudoun Dental Associates. At each visit, your Stone Ridge dentist will measure the depth of the shallow v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your tooth and gums to identify whether you have gum disease.

What causes gum disease?

healthy-gumsIn a word: plaque.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and festers toxins that can then damage the gums — thus gum disease. Periodontal disease strikes just below the gum line, causing a breakdown of the connection between tooth and gum tissue. As the tissue is damaged, little by little, a pocket is formed in the sulcus. And generally, this is how periodontal disease is classified; the deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease, whether gingivitis or periodontitis.

gingivitis

Gingivitis: In this early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis: This is when gum disease becomes more advanced, and serious damage has been done to the structure of your gums and mouth. Whereas healthy gums and bone anchor teeth firmly in place, infected gums can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

periodontitis

Know the factors that increase your risk of developing periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • System-wide diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy

Call Loudoun Dental associates immediately if you notice any of the following signs of gum disease:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs.

Good oral hygiene at home is essential to keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.