FAQs on Gum Disease
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a condition that occurs due to poor oral health. Some patients are also more susceptible to gum disease because of medical conditions such as diabetes or due to medications. This infection of the mouth can destroy the gum tissue, jawbone, and teeth.
How does it develop?
Gum disease starts as bacteria in the mouth that is not properly removed through brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings. When left untreated, it can become worse and result in irreversible damage of the teeth, gums, and jawbone.
What are the signs of gum diseases?
The signs of the earlier stages of gum disease, gingivitis, are:
- Swollen, red gum tissue
- Persistent bad breath
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
As the condition progresses into the later stages, patients will begin to notice the shrinking of the gum tissue and the loosening of the teeth. Patients may also experience more tooth decay and even pain due to the condition. The earlier the condition is caught and treated, the less likely it is to have a permanent effect on the smile.
How does gum disease affect the rest of the body?
Studies have confirmed that there is a connection between the health of the smile and the health of the body. This is known as the oral systemic connection. The oral systemic connection has been proven to carry the bacteria of the mouth into the bloodstream to the rest of the organs, causing inflammation elsewhere in the body. The oral systemic connection should be taken seriously and patients are encouraged to understand the effect their smile has on their body as a whole.
Who can develop gum disease?
Gum disease can develop in any gender at any age and in any race.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Prevention is important in keeping gum disease from occurring. Prevention includes brushing and flossing after every meal to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Patients should also make sure they visit their dentist at least twice a year for an examination and professional cleaning.