“Do I Have Gum Disease?”

Gum disease is silent – it creeps up on you slowly, gives no symptoms apart from little signs, and does not hurt – by the time you feel something, it could be very bad news!

Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease causing inflammation around the gums affects over 50% of America’s population! See blood when rinsing your mouth after brushing? If so, you’ve got gingivitis. Bacterial biofilms, also known as plaque, as well as tartar adhere to tooth surfaces throughout the day. These bacterial substances build up in the small gaps between your teeth and produce toxins that cause the periodontal tissues like the gum and supporting bone to inflame. Over the years, this inflammation can cause deep pockets between the teeth and gums and loss of bone around the teeth, which is when gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. Gingivitis is reversible, but periodontitis can only be managed after treatment. Early detection, treatment and prevention is the key to save your teeth!

The loss of bone around the teeth can cause serious structure issues within the jaw; eventually leading to tooth loss. The signs of gum disease include red and swollen gums, blood appearing when brushing or flossing, mouth sores, bad breath, loose teeth and gum recession.

The causes of gum disease, besides the bacterial factors, are systemic and host resistance which needs to be revealed, such as stress, medication, hormonal changes, illness, bad habits (smoking, poor hygiene, poor diet), genetic history, etc… There are different approaches to treat the disease.

The mouth-body connection has been a hot topic for the past decade. We have learned about the association of gum disease with other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and alzheimer’s disease. Believe it or not, gum disease can even cause your physical health to deteriorate into a stroke, endangering a pregnancy.

So be kind to yourself! Treat those bleeding gums! Cosult with your dental professional. Treatments provided from a dental professional include cleaning up the “bad stuff” through deep scaling, root planning, laser gum treatment, medication applied locally or systemically, home care education and home care programs. Please take action to treat bleeding gums!

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