Can Gum Disease Affect You?
Gum disease, gingivitis, periodontal disease—you have heard the words, but what do they all mean? Is gum disease even something that you should worry about?
The answer to the latter question is a resounding “yes.” Whether you are 14, 48 or 67, gum disease can affect you. Gingivitis is the preliminary stage of gum disease. During this time, the gums become inflamed, appearing red and swollen and bleeding easily when brushing your teeth. Your teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets, but it’s an early warning sign that you need to see your dentist soon.
Periodontal disease is gum disease. It is difficult to reverse and can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease occurs when the inner layer of gum and bone pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that collect debris and become infected. Bacteria join forces with the debris to create toxins that eat away at your gums and the bone supporting your teeth. At this point, your teeth hang loosely in their sockets or fall out. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and with simple daily dental care habits and regular visits to your dentist in Atlanta, it can be prevented.
What Are the Causes Gum Disease?
The primary causes of gum disease are plaque and bacteria; however, certain age and lifestyle factors can impact the levels of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, making your dental care routine imperative to keeping your teeth firmly in place.
- Illness. Illnesses can affect your gums. Cancer, HIV, and diabetes patients, for example, are at an increased risk for developing infections, including periodontal disease.
- Prescription medications. Many medications can lead to dry mouth, a condition that causes impaired saliva production, which keeps bacteria from being washed away from the teeth and gums. Anticonvulsants and anti-angina medications are examples of drugs that impair saliva production.
- Hormone fluctuations. Women’s hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation can make gums more sensitive and easily lead to the development of gingivitis.
- Tobacco use. Chewing or smoking tobacco makes it difficult for gums to heal and contributes to the formation of toxins that can lead to damage.
- Poor dental care. Neglecting to brush or floss every day enables bacteria to build up and cause inflammation and gum disease. Skipping routine dental visits leaves your mouth susceptible to bacteria that can’t be removed by brushing alone.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease can progress slowly and silently, showing few signs of disease. However, you can catch the condition before it advances to an irreversible stage if you know what to look for:
- Swollen, tender, or red gums
- Bleeding gums during brushing
- Receding gum line
- Noticeable “pockets” between the teeth and gum line
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Chronic bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
An absence of symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have gum disease. Only your dentist can make an accurate diagnosis. Routine visits to an affordable dentist in Atlanta can ensure that you prevent or get early treatment for gum disease.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Atlanta, call Dental One Associates of Dunwoody today at (404) 381-1490 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Atlanta. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Georgia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Dunwoody, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Dunwoody.