Recognizing the Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a common oral health condition that can lead to serious problems, including bone deterioration, tissue damage, or even tooth loss if left untreated. At Ridgewood Dental Associates, we provide advanced periodontics and periodontal treatments to treat gum disease and restore gum health. Because gum disease can be so dangerous to oral health, it's important to understand the symptoms so that you may recognize when treatment is necessary. If you experience any of the following gum disease symptoms, please contact our practice in Ridgewood, NJ to schedule a consultation and learn more about your treatment options.
One of the most common and obvious signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. When gum disease is present, the soft tissues may bleed while brushing or flossing the teeth. In some cases, bleeding will persist after the teeth are brushed and flossed.
The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is marked by gum inflammation. The gums often become inflamed, or swollen, as a result of bacteria at the gum line. The reason behind this is believed to be caused by the release of toxins from plaque bacteria.
Chronic Bad Breath
Gum disease is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. When infection is present, it can make the breath persistently smell bad or leave a bad taste in the mouth. As gum disease becomes worse, bad breath often becomes stronger.
One of the biggest dangers of gum disease is the development of periodontal pockets. Periodontal pockets are gaps between the gums and teeth that form as a result of a combination of gum inflammation and tartar buildup. As the gums become inflamed and plaque and tartar collect at the gum line, the soft tissues will begin to pull away from the teeth. As they pull away, more plaque and tartar will collect between the teeth and gums, causing the pockets to grow larger. As the pockets deepen, the structures beneath the gums will become vulnerable to disease and other damage.
Loose Teeth and Tooth Loss
If gum disease is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. In severe cases of periodontitis, the teeth may become loose or fall out. Often, this is caused by large periodontal pockets and infection of the tissues and bone supporting the teeth.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene every day. Patients should brush their teeth after every meal or at least twice a day. When brushing, care should be taken to clean well along the gum line and hard to reach areas at the back of the mouth. Flossing at least once a day is also essential to preventing gum disease as flossing helps remove plaque between the teeth and at the gumline where brushing alone can't reach. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, seeing your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning can further protect the gums and overall oral health.
Seek Treatment for Gum Disease
If you have noticed any of the symptoms of gum disease, it is important to contact our dentists to learn about your treatment options. Our team offers a wide variety of treatments to address mild to severe gum disease and get your oral health back on track.