The majority of tooth loss experienced by Americans today is the direct result of undiagnosed or untreated gum disease. This is particularly unfortunate, because gum disease is a completely preventable condition! Our top-rated dentists at OC Healthy Smiles in Costa Mesa, CA, are here to educate you on the causes and signs of gum disease, aka periodontal disease. With a little extra care, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and intact.
Gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, is your body’s natural response to being attacked by the bacteria contained in plaque. Gingivitis is usually identified through the following symptoms:
Sometimes, gingivitis can be present without you even realize it. As long as you see your dentist in Orange County, CA, for a dental cleaning and exam once every six months, your dentist will be able to identify whether you have gingivitis or not.
Gingivitis can be exacerbated if you don’t regularly brush and floss, if you use tobacco or cigarettes, and if you aren’t eating a proper, nutritional diet. Gingivitis can also be made more likely by genetics or hormone changes – in fact, many pregnant women find themselves suffering from gingivitis because of the influx of pregnancy hormones!
Like most medical issues, gum disease won’t go away all by itself. If you and your dentist don’t work together to address your gingivitis, it will eventually transform into advanced gum disease, also called periodontal disease. At this stage of gum disease, your gums will be quite sore, swollen, and bloody. That’s not the end of it, either!
Because gum disease attacks your gums and underlying bone, your teeth lose their support structure. As the periodontal disease progresses, your teeth will start to loosen and wiggle, and eventually they will fall out. Missing teeth means more than having gaps in your smile, too! When you lose teeth, your ability to bite and chew is compromised, and you can even begin to have difficulty with speech articulation.
Gum disease doesn’t stop at your mouth, either. Diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer have been linked to the same bacteria that causes gum disease. By stopping your gum disease while it is still in the gingivitis stage, you are keeping these bacteria from entering your blood stream and potential saving yourself from far worse health problems down the road.
In short, gum disease is definitely an issue you want to avoid, so make sure you work with your Orange County, CA, dentist to ensure you are giving your oral health the attention it deserves.
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our Costa Mesa, CA, dental office would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics. Call 714.422.0596 or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly, expert dentists today.