Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, has no cure. It’s a progressive condition that can affect anyone, of any age. Approximately half of all Americans suffer from some level of this disease, and it’s the primary cause of adult tooth loss in our nation. Your best defense against gum disease is practicing good oral health, at home and by visiting the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. If you notice symptoms of this disease, have loose teeth, or are due for a dental checkup, call Value Dental Center in Queen Creek, AZ today to reserve your appointment with one of our caring, competent dentists.
Gum Disease Symptoms
The Surgeon General in 2000 called gum disease a “silent epidemic,” because its symptoms are usually mild, if noticeable at all. Some people may experience:
- Tender gums
- Red, purple, or otherwise discolored gums
- Swelling of the gums
- Pus at the gum line, where teeth meet gum tissue
- Significant bleeding when brushing teeth
- Chronic halitosis (bad breath)
- Loosening or the loss of teeth
However, many notice no symptoms at all. A dentist may be the first to realize you have gum disease, and fortunately, the dentist can help you treat and manage it.
“Chronic,” as a descriptor of gum disease, means that gum disease is ongoing, has no cure, and can continually flare up during your lifetime. You can manage the disease, though, to reduce or eliminate the potential for flare ups.
How Periodontal Disease Begins
Everyone has over 600 types of bacteria in our mouths at any given time, and many of those are good for us. Some, however, are bad. When bad bacteria are not removed daily, by brushing and flossing, they build up in the mouth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bad bacteria, and plaque naturally forms on teeth all the time. Over about 48 hours, plaque hardens into calculus, or tartar, an insoluble substance that irritates gum tissue. Plaque and tartar build up at the gum line, and the bacteria in them erode connective tissues that hold gums to teeth. As this erosion occurs, periodontal pockets of infection develop at the gum line. Bacteria grow and thrive in the dark, moist, warm pockets, and bacteria work their way down teeth roots, destroying connective tissues along the way.
Early gum disease is known as gingivitis, and it may be caused by poor oral hygiene, hormone fluctuations, the use of certain medications, or other factors. When a dentist or hygienist finds and treats gingivitis, they can stop its progression so that you may never actually develop periodontitis, the more serious level of gum disease. If your condition is not treated, periodontitis will escalate into full blown advanced periodontitis, and the results can be devastating.
Gum disease, left untreated, causes tooth loss, gum and bone death, and increases a person’s risk for developing heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes complications, cognitive diseases, and for pregnant women, pre-term birth.
Call Us Now for Help
Swollen, tender gums seem like a small thing, but do not neglect seeking treatment. If you have any symptoms of gum disease or are due for a dental checkup and cleaning, call Value Dental Center Queen Creek today to schedule an appointment. We want to help you maintain a healthy mouth and gorgeous smile for life!