There are reasons why your gums are bleeding and your breath is foul, and your energy is possibly waning – you could potentially have gum disease! The good news is that it is easily treatable, especially when it’s caught in the early stages.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. Commonly referred to as periodontal disease or gingivitis, the bacteria that begins to grow in your mouth may result in tooth loss if neglected.
The Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, typically precedes periodontal disease. However, not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. You’ll know you are experiencing gingivitis issues when the gums bleed during tooth brushing. This is a result of the buildup of bacteria in plaque. Although the gums might be irritated, the teeth continue to be firmly planted in their sockets. There is no irreversible bone or tissue damage during this early stage.
The perils arise when gingivitis is left untreated and it advances to periodontal disease. A person with periodontitis experiences the inner layer of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth and they form pockets. These spaces between the teeth and gums collect leftover food particles and can become infected. The body’s immune system will fight the bacteria as plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. This leads to the breakdown of the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place, creating deep pockets and furthering the destruction of the bone and gum tissue. The teeth are then no longer anchored into place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs.
With periodontal disease, there are other factors that may contribute in addition to the buildup of plaque:
- Hormonal changes
- Illnesses, such as cancer or diabetes.
- Poor oral hygiene
- Bad habits such as smoking
- A Family history of dental diseases
- Medications, which have a direct effect on teeth and gums.
Because of these, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
It is during a dental exam that your dentist can check for problems, such as gum bleeding, swelling, firmness, and pocket depth. They’ll also examine teeth movement, sensitivity, and proper teeth alignment. And lastly, your jawbone. Is there a breakdown in the bone surrounding the teeth? The goal of gum disease treatment is to promote healthy reattachment of gums to teeth. Dr. Huff and the entire team at Precision Dentistry & Implants are experts in controlling bacteria growth and restoring supportive gum and bone tissues. Our caring staff will treat you like family the instant you walk through our doors. We leave no stone un-turned when it comes to gum disease treatment options and your overall health. Give our office a call, and discover what everyone is talking about in the Hill Country area. There’s no reason for your gums to suffer. We’re here for you!