GUM DISEASE otherwise known as gingivitis, is an extremely common condition in which the gums become sore, swollen or infected. Left untreated, another more serious condition called periodontitis can develop. Periodontitis can lead to the bone in your jaw becoming damaged, often small spaces appear between the gums and teeth which causes them to become loose and eventually fall out of their own accord.
What causes gum disease?
If you fail to brush your teeth properly for a few days, you will begin to notice that a yellowish sticky coating starts to build up on the enamel. This sticky coating is packed full of bacteria, and while some is harmless, others are able to take advantage of the food that you are eating and use it to excrete toxins and enzymes that create plaque. Bacteria can thrive in the plaque. Meanwhile your body notices the amount of toxins in your mouth and begins to create lots of new blood vessels in the area to help fight against them. These extra blood vessels are what makes the gums look red and swollen. Unfortunately, the bacteria also fight back, meaning that the blood vessels are extremely fragile and prone to bleeding.
Symptoms of gum disease
If you brush your teeth and notice that your gums are bleeding, then there is a strong chance that you have the early stages of gum disease. It is usually painless, but other symptoms that you may notice could include swelling and redness of the gums, and sometimes a soreness on the area where the tooth meets the gum line.
Am I at risk of gum disease?
Gum disease is extremely common and if you don’t look after your oral hygiene then you will almost certainly develop it. However, if you are a smoker, or if you have certain health conditions such as diabetes, then you have an increased risk of developing gum disease and Dr. Farhad Dena may recommend more frequent visits to his office so that the health of your gums can be monitored more closely.
Treating gum disease
There is an extremely simple way to tackle gum disease – follow a thorough oral hygiene routine! It is the accumulation of bacteria on the surface of the teeth that is mostly responsible for gum disease, and by performing quality brushing twice a day, particularly after meals and last thing at night, flossing and using mouthwash, you can treat gingivitis and help to prevent it from occurring again in the future. You should also make sure that you attend regular dental check-ups and schedule professional cleanings.
If you are worried about gum disease, make an appointment with Dr. Farhad Dena at San Diego Premier Dental Group who will be happy to give you further advice.