Gum disease is an inflammation of the soft tissues that keep your teeth in position. It is usually caused by improper flossing and brushing habits that permit plaque to build upon the teeth. The initial period of the gum condition is known as gingivitis, and the more advanced stages are called periodontitis. Periodontal diseases can cause bleeding gums, sores, and discomfort while chewing and tooth loss at advanced stages.
Bacteria in our mouth combine with other elements like mucus and form a sticky and colorless plaque on teeth. Daily brushing and flossing help to remove plaque build-up. Plaque that is not removed could harden and become tartar that brushing does not eliminate. Only a professional cleaning performed by dentists can eliminate tartar. Various factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Crooked teeth, as they are difficult to clean
- Smoking/chewing tobacco
- Certain medications, like steroids, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives
Gum disease symptoms include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding or tender gums
- Consistent bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
A dental hygienist will:
- Examine your gums for any indications of inflammation.
- Utilize a small ruler referred to as a probe to check for and measure any pockets present around the teeth. The pocket's depth generally ranges from 1 to 3 mm in a healthy mouth.
- Discuss your medical history to determine risks or conditions (such as diabetes or smoking) which may cause gum disease.
- The dentist may also use an x-ray to check whether there's any bone loss.
The primary objective of treatment is controlling the disease. The amount and type of treatment can differ depending on the severity of gum disease. Treatment will require the patient to maintain proper care at home. Dentists may also recommend altering certain habits like cutting down on smoking to enhance the results of your treatment.
There are many gum disease risk factors; however, smoking is the most important. Smoking can also make gum disease treatment less effective. Other factors include hormonal changes in women, diabetes, medicines that reduce the saliva flow, certain illnesses like AIDS.
Consult your dentist if you suspect that you are suffering from gum disease because the earlier you can treat it, the better they heal.
Keep your teeth and gums healthy by following these steps:
- Make sure you brush your teeth twice every day with a fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Floss often to eliminate plaque between your teeth.
- Visit your dentist for regular oral check-ups and professional cleaning.
- Quit smoking.
Please reach out to our dental practice in Pleasanton, CA, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Dogra. Please call us at (925) 600-9006 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.