Learn More About Gum Disease
Do you know the most common disease in the United States? You might be surprised to learn that it is gum disease, with approximately half of American adults suffering in some way. Gum disease can be harmful to your teeth and gums, leading to irreversible damage if left untreated.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious gum infection and inflammation caused by bacterial growth along the gumline and around the base of the tooth. Gum disease is extremely serious due to its quiet but destructive nature. Unlike tooth decay, gum disease does not cause discomfort and, at times, does not present itself until immediate treatment is needed.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque, a sticky film that coats teeth with bacteria, can damage a tooth and lead to decay. When plaque builds up over time, it not only affects the decaying tooth, but also begins to cause additional problems in the gums. One example of this is pockets forming along the gumline, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth.
Gum disease can take two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, which can be treated. It typically manifests as red or swollen gums that can bleed easily when brushing teeth. Periodontitis is more severe and can cause permanent damage. During this stage, teeth can become loose and need to be extracted or may fall out on their own.
How to Prevent Gum Disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice proper oral hygiene at home. Brushing your teeth properly, a minimum of twice daily, is essential. Ideally, it would be best to brush teeth after each meal, especially after eating sweets or anything sticky and chewy. Flossing daily is important to help remove any remaining food and bacteria that is lingering between teeth. Eating a healthy, balanced diet also plays an important part in maintaining proper oral health.
Another important component to avoiding gum disease is to be sure that you visit our office regularly for dental cleanings and examinations. During an examination, we pay close attention to any warning signs that gum disease might be forming. If we deem that gum disease has started and treatment is needed, we offer various forms, depending on the severity of your case. We offer treatments such as at-home periodontal trays, scaling, root planing, and pinhole surgery.
If you are located in the Canandaigua, NY area and have any questions about gum disease or are in need of an appointment, please contact our office today. We look forward to working with you to improve your oral health!