What Is Gum Disease And Can It Affect You?
When you visit our office for a routine hygiene examination and cleaning, we do more than just clean your teeth and check for signs of decay. We also look for other common issues, such as oral cancer and gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious gum infection caused by bacterial growth along the gumline and around the base of the tooth. When gum disease is left untreated, it will continue to progress and can cause serious complications such as tooth loss and deterioration of the jawbone.
Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is an extremely common condition that affects more than half of American adults at some point in their lifetime. One of the biggest issues for patients who do not visit our office for routine dental care is that there are not many extremely obvious warning signs. There is typically no discomfort in the early stages of the disease, and for many patients, detection comes only once the disease is already quite advanced. Between routine appointments in our office, it is important to be mindful of your oral health and keep track of any changes you notice. Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen or irritated gums
- Gums that are excessively red
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
- Unexplained bad breath
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Loose or sensitive teeth
What Causes Gum Disease?
One of the biggest causes of gum disease is a lack of oral hygiene. This occurs when patients are not brushing and flossing their teeth properly. When bacteria builds up along the base of the teeth along the gumline, it can lead to an infection. Patients should be brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Gum disease is also hereditary and common in patients during and after pregnancy.
If you are in Knoxville, TN or the surrounding area and are noticing any of the warning signs mentioned above, or if you have not visited our office within the past 6 months for a hygiene examination, call to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon!