What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a result of bacteria buildup in the mouth. Plaque and tartar cling to the teeth when you don’t brush properly. Over time, they begin to wear down the enamel, leading to inflammation and infection that causes the gums to recede. If left untreated, gum disease can turn from simple bleeding while flossing to complete gum decay, which can damage the integrity of your teeth and cause intense pain.
Gum disease begins with gingivitis, inflammation of the gums that can cause bleeding while flossing or brushing. When left untreated, gingivitis worsens and forms into periodontitis. In time, the gums will begin to recede from your teeth.
Risk Factors of Gum Disease
There are several risk factors that someone may be more prone to developing periodontal disease, including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives
Prevention and Treatment Options of Gum Disease
When gum disease is in its early stages, called gingivitis, the gums are not very inflamed and there is likely no pain. You may experience bleeding while flossing or brushing. During this stage, dedicated brushing and flossing habits can reverse gingivitis in a matter of weeks.
However, once gum decay has progressed past gingivitis, it is very difficult to reverse gum disease without the help of a dental professional. In some cases, you may need surgery to remove the infected portion of your gums, or graft to restore your gums.
To help prevent or monitor periodontal gum disease, patients should:
- Brush and floss your teeth every day to remove bacteria
- Attend your six-month check-up with your dentist and hygienist to ensure you are receiving a thorough exam and professional teeth cleaning
Contact Us Today
Dr. Kwiatkowski is an expert at treating all sorts of dental issues, including gum disease. Since 1999, we have used state-of-the-art technology to detect and help treat gum disease before it poses a significant threat to our patients. When you are ready to take charge of your oral health, contact our dental office in Grafton directly at 262-377-0852.