Not surprisingly a large percentage of adults today have some form of periodontal gum disease. Gum diseases vary substantially today and may include everything from the most basic types of gum inflammation to more serious conditions. More severe problems can end up damaging bone and the soft tissue that is used to support teeth. In many cases, when gum disease is left untreated tooth loss can be expected to occur. Perhaps most important of all to keep in mind about gum disease is that how the teeth and gums are cared for will ultimately determine whether or not the disease will get worse, slow down or stop completely.
Brush and Floss Regularly
In most instances gum disease is the result of bacteria that naturally occurs within the mouth getting out of control.
When bacteria combined with mucus and other particles are allowed to remain on teeth for extended periods they form a colorless and sticky substance known as plaque. The most effective way of removing plaque is to brush and floss regularly. When plaque is not removed at regular intervals it eventually hardens and turns into something called tarter. Unfortunately, tarter cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. The only way to remove tarter is to have professional cleaning done by a dental care provider or dental hygienists.
Discomfort and Pain
Periodontitis and gingivitis specifically are the most common types of gum diseases seen today. When plaque and tartar are allowed to remain on teeth for an extended length of time over and over again damage to the teeth and gums can result. It is in fact the bacteria that are normally present within the mouth that may cause inflammation of the gums. As mentioned, this is known as gingivitis. Gums affected by gingivitis become swollen and red and will ultimately bleed causing discomfort and pain. Fortunately, as talked about above, regular brushing and flossing can reverse gingivitis. In more severe cases, periodontitis may result. This is when gingivitis goes untreated and where inflammation occurs around the tooth.
Periodontitis That Goes Untreated
In more serious cases, the gums will actually pull away from the teeth resulting in pockets that can eventually become infected. As bacteria spreads below the gum line, infection will eventually break down bone and even affect connective tissue that holds teeth firmly in the jawbone. When periodontitis goes untreated the gums and the bones as well as the tissue that normally support teeth ultimately become permanently destroyed. Teeth affected in this way will become loose and will either fall out on their own or require extraction by a dental care provider. Know the symptoms of gum disease as a way to stay proactive and keep your teeth healthy.
Tender or Bleeding Gums
For example, if teeth are excessively sensitive or chewing becomes painful this may indicate the early stages of gum disease. In addition, receding gums or teeth that appear longer than normal may also signify that gum disease is well underway. Bad breath that simply will not go away as well as swollen or red gums and gums that are tender or bleeding may also be symptomatic of periodontal gum disease. Any one of the signs discussed here or any combination of these symptoms may indicate a serious problem. Call and schedule an appointment to meet with your San Jose dental care provider, Dr. Mehdi Vandi as soon as possible if you feel that you may be experiencing the early symptoms of periodontal gum disease.