What is Gum Disease?
If you find that your gums almost always bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, you might be suffering from periodontal disease. This condition is commonly known as gum disease, wherein the tissues that keep your teeth intact are infected. It is normally caused by poor oral hygiene, which allows bacteria to accumulate on the teeth, and eventually damage the gums. Some early symptoms of periodontal disease are gum bleeding and swelling. If you are experiencing this, it is crucial that you consult with us here at Tigard Family Dental as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
How Does Periodontal Disease Develop?
The bacteria in our mouths, together with other elements such as mucus, constantly form plaque on our teeth. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing. However, without proper oral hygiene, this plaque can accumulate and harden into tartar. As your immune system tries to fight the bacteria in the tartar, it releases substances that damage the gums. During the initial stage of periodontal disease, which is gingivitis, the gums are the only ones that are infected. However, as the disease progresses, the infection also spreads to the other tissues that support the teeth.
Aside from poor oral hygiene, there are other factors that increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. The most significant of these factors is smoking. Smoking can also lessen the effectiveness of treatment for gum disease. Other factors include hormonal changes, certain medications, diabetes, and genetics.
Periodontal Disease and its Effect on Overall Health
As if damaging the gums is not yet bad enough, periodontal disease is also linked to other medical problems. For instance, it may increase the risk of heart disease, and may also increase the likelihood of stroke that is caused by clogged arteries. Periodontal disease also poses dangers for pregnant women, as it can increase the risk of premature birth.
Diabetic patients who also suffer from periodontal disease may find it more difficult to regulate their blood sugar level compared to patients who do not have gum problems. Periodontal disease can also lead to respiratory diseases or aggravate existing lung problems.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
There are certain signs that can help you find out if you have periodontal disease. Some of these signs are swollen or bleeding gums, sensitive or loose teeth, painful chewing, persistent bad breath, and receding gums. While these signs can help you ascertain your condition, it is still crucial for you to visit us so we can give you a proper diagnosis.
Prevention and Treatment
It is important that you properly brush and floss every day, as it can help remove plaque buildup. Your teeth should also be professionally cleaned after every few months to prevent the development of gum disease.
However, if you have already been diagnosed with gum disease, the next step is to seek treatment. The primary goal of treatment for periodontal disease is to control the infection. There are various types of treatments, and the one that will be suitable for you will depend on the severity of your gum disease. We, here at Tigard Family Dental, can give you the right treatment that will restore the health of your teeth and gums. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you at (971) 762-1262.