Gum disease occurs when bacteria infect the oral tissues or gums. This disease is very prevalent but can be prevented with proper oral hygiene, including flossing, and regular trips to a qualified dentist. As plaque collects along the gum line, it irritates the gums and begins breaking down the tissue, causing inflammation. Plaque contains powerful bacteria that can damage oral tissues and lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
- Signs of Gum Disease: The easiest way to determine whether you have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is to look for blood when flossing. You may also notice red, swollen, or tender gums after your brush, floss, or eat hard foods. Receding gums, persistent bad breath, and mouth sores are signs of more advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, so contact your dentist at the first signs of gingivitis.
- Risks of Gum Disease: Gum disease can lead to chronic bad breath, tooth stains, gum recession, and tooth loss. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss. If gum disease isn’t treated in a timely manner, bacteria from the oral infection could enter your bloodstream, causing a variety of whole-body health complications, including inflammatory, upper respiratory, and heart diseases.
- Prevention of Gum Disease: You can easily prevent gum disease by brushing thoroughly and flossing each day. Gently glide the floss in a zigzag motion between your teeth, making sure to push the floss below the gum line. When brushing, position the bristles at a 45-degree angle against where the gums meet the teeth and move the brush in a circular motion.
- Treatment of Gum Disease: Non-surgical scaling and root planning is a common gum disease treatment that deeply cleans the bottom of the teeth and the tooth roots to create a sanitized surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Bone and soft tissue grafts, bone surgery, and tissue regeneration are all surgical treatment options that can be done using sedation dentistry.
If you’ve recently noticed signs of gum disease, call the office of Dr. Kenn Kakosian, DDS at (888) 775-8116. We use advanced technology and laser dentistry to repair and protect our patients’ gums from infection.