Gum disease or periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and their surrounding tissue. It is the major cause of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four people at some point in their life. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis. At Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we address these conditions with proper evaluation first and then treatment.
What are the Warning Signs of Gum Disease?
The warning signs of periodontal disease is red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from teeth, lose or separating teeth, a discharge between the gum and tooth, persistent bad breath, a change in the way teeth fit together when the patient bites. While patients are advised to check for the warning signs, there might not be any discomfort until the disease has spread to a point where the tooth is cannot be salvaged. That’s why patients are advised to get frequent dental exams to avoid the onset of periodontal disease.
What Happens if Gum Disease is not Treated?
Unfortunately, gum disease does not usually cause pain as it worsens so you probably won’t notice the damage it is doing. However, if the bacteria is active and it makes your gums sore, more than likely you have periodontal disease. This can lead to gum abscesses, and discharge or pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment is always more difficult.
What to Do if You Suspect Gum Disease
The first thing to do is visit your dental team for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. They will inspect the gum around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started. You may also need x-rays to determine the amount of bone that has been lost. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.
In recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia. At Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry you can count on positive, professional care so that you are always informed of the benefits that proper dental care has to offer.