What Is Gum Disease?
It is a condition featuring an infection of the gum tissue. The disease is characterized by painful, reddened, and swollen gums. However, it is not isolated to the gums only. The reason is it is also called a periodontal disease because it affects the periodontium of the oral cavity. The bacteria infection can spread to the jawbone, affecting the bone tissue. Without gum disease treatment, the effects of the infection may cause permanent problems to your oral cavity.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is one of the most common oral problems in dentistry. Unfortunately, few patients get diagnosed early enough, so most of the patients seeking treatment at Cupertino Family Dental have a progressed and advanced infection. The specific cause of the bacteria infection in the periodontium remains unknown. Medical experts, however, have a list of risk factors that can increase the likelihood of gum disease:
- Smoking – any tobacco consumption elevates your risk of gum disease.
- Drinking alcohol – excessive consumption of alcohol does not only risk the health of your liver, but your gums too.
- Poor oral hygiene – you would be surprised at how many people suffer gum diseases due to neglected oral hygiene.
- Diabetes – some types of diabetes increase the risk of gum disease.
- Orthodontic complications – if you have crooked teeth or an overcrowded mouth, you risk getting gum disease.
- Hormonal changes – primarily for pregnant menopausal women.
- Dry mouth syndrome – commonly as a side effect of medication you are taking or an underlying health problem.
How Do You Know You Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a fairly easy infection to spot, especially as it progresses. However, the symptoms may not be obvious to you during the initial stages. Still, it is paramount that you detect the infection early to start treating it before you have significant complications. Some of the early signs of gum disease are:
- Bleeding gums – any time you brush your teeth and notice blood in your spit or toothbrush, you may have gum disease. You can be sure it is an infection if it happens more often than not, especially if you do not have any wound in your mouth.
- Swollen and reddened gums – no matter which stage of gum disease you are at, your gums will be swollen and redder than usual.
- Pain when you chew – it will feel as if you have a problematic jawbone. The pain will cause your gums to be tender to touch, making your life quite uncomfortable.
- Mouth sores – although mouth sores do not always indicate gum disease, they are a common symptom of early gum infection. The mouth sores will keep reoccurring even after a few weeks.
- Bad breath – do you struggle with maintaining fresh breath? It could be that you have an infection in your mouth.
Advanced Symptoms of Gum Disease
The early signs of gum disease may not immediately point to the infection. Such symptoms can be mistaken for other oral problems. However, as the disease progresses, you will encounter other undeniable symptoms like:
- Receding gums – occurs when the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth. Eventually, it may appear like your teeth have grown bigger than they were.
- Shaky teeth – as the gums recede, they decrease support to teeth. The result will be wobbly teeth. Over time, if you do not visit a dentist in Cupertino for gum diseases treatment, your teeth will start falling off.
- Spaces between teeth – the infection spreads to the jawbone, causing bone tissue degeneration. As both the gums and bone tissue deteriorate, teeth will become unstable. They may start shifting gradually, creating spaces between your teeth.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease
Dentists treat gum disease differently depending on the severity. The more advanced the infection is, the more invasive and aggressive your treatment is likely to be. Some treatment options include:
- Pain medication
- Deep cleaning – to rid your mouth of bacteria.
- Gum grafting surgery – to restore receding gums.
- Bone grafting surgery – to repair damaged bone tissue.