Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems in the United States. While gum disease is common, it should be taken seriously as it can cause severe pain and the loss of teeth. In fact, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. As gum disease can have such serious consequences, it is important that people have a basic understanding of gum disease in order to prevent its development.
What is Gum Disease?
Gingivitis can be considered as an early form of gum disease. A person who has gingivitis may have bad breath, experience swollen gums and have gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis that is not properly treated can develop into periodontitis, or gum disease. Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. When this happens, food can become trapped between the gums and the teeth and result in the development of bacteria that can cause infection. The infection then further damages the gums and teeth which often results in the loss of the affected teeth.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease can have a number of causes, though the most common cause is a lack of proper dental care. Without proper brushing, flossing and professional dental cleanings, plaque can develop on the teeth and cause infections that result in gingivitis and then gum disease. However, even people who do properly care for their teeth can develop gum disease. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause or other events can make a person more susceptible to the development of gum disease. Illnesses and medications can also cause a person to be more likely to develop gum disease. This is one of the reasons that it is important that people provide a thorough medical history to their dentist. Certain hereditary factors also play a role in the likelihood of a person developing gum disease.
Signs of Gum Disease
The earliest signs of the development of gum disease are swollen or sensitive gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing. Though some occasional bleeding can be normal, a person’s gums should not bleed on a regular basis from routine brushing and flossing. A bad taste in the mouth or bad breath can also be a sign of gum disease. The taste or smell can be caused by the bacteria in the mouth as well as the blood from bleeding gums. As gum disease advances and the gums pull away from the teeth, a person may begin to notice that the gums are loose around the teeth. In later stages, a person may notice that their teeth are loose or shifting. Shifting teeth may cause a person’s bite to change or cause his or her partial dentures or other dental appliances to not fit properly. Loose teeth are a sign of severe gum disease.
Treatment for Gum Disease
The treatment for gum disease will vary depending on the severity of the problem. The basic treatment for preventing gum disease and addressing minor cases is the removal of tartar and plaque from the teeth through a professional dental cleaning. Teeth can also be smoothed to remove deposits and to make it more difficult for plaque to form on the teeth. Surgical procedures can be used in severe cases to repair gums so that they fit properly against the teeth. Decayed and missing teeth can be replaced through a variety of dental procedures. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat the infections common with gum disease.
TLC Dentistry in Salinas, California
The staff at TLC Dentistry in Salinas is well trained in the latest dental techniques to diagnose and treat gum disease in adults and children. In fact, TLC can provide you and your family with complete dental care to prevent the development of dental problems and to correct any existing dental issues.
Since 1962 TLC Dentistry has been offering the most up-to-date dental care in a friendly, courteous manner, and strives to provide a peaceful and relaxing environment.