August 15, 2017
It’s all too easy to take your gums for granted, but that pink tissue that holds your teeth in place is vital to your oral health — and even to your overall health. Gum disease is a serious condition that can put a damper on all aspects of your life. Your dentist in Allen explains how it develops and why you should never ignore its symptoms.
Bacteria Leads to Gingivitis
Hundreds of types of bacteria inhabit your mouth at any given time. If you allow the bacteria to run rampant, it leads to plaque and tartar. In turn, the plaque and tartar cause inflammation in the gums. This first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If you have red or swollen gums, or if your gums bleed easily, you may have gingivitis.
There are several things that can cause gum disease, including genetics and diabetes, but poor oral hygiene habits are the most common culprit. If you are diligent about brushing and flossing and pay regular visits to your dentist in Allen, you may be able to reverse gingivitis without having any extensive dental work done.
Gingivitis Leads to Periodontitis
If you don’t take care of gingivitis in a timely manner, it could advance to periodontitis, the next stage of gum disease. Symptoms include bad breath that won’t go away, receding gums, and changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
As periodontitis becomes worse and worse, you could end up losing some of your teeth. Plus, it may be painful for you to eat.
Gum conditions don’t just affect your oral health. Periodontitis can make diabetes more difficult to control, and it has been linked to other conditions as well, including preterm birth and cardiovascular disease.
Recovering From Gum Disease
Regardless of what stage of gum disease you’re in, your dentist will be able to help restore your oral health. They might recommend a procedure called root scaling and planing, which amounts to a deep cleaning of your teeth. Your dentist may also smooth out the roots of your teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to cling to them.
In severe cases, cleaning your mouth might not be enough. You and your dentist might have to talk about surgical methods of treating gum disease. You may have to undergo bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, or other procedures that are meant to get you gums and teeth on the road to recovery.
If your gum disease has caused tooth loss, you don’t need to despair. After your gums heal, you might be a candidate for dentures, implants, or other restorative dentistry techniques.
Your gums are an important part of a great smile and a full life. Preventing and treating gingivitis and periodontitis is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
About the Author
The doctors at Ryan Dental Group are proud to serve patients in the Allen, Texas, area. They provide preventive dentistry as well as periodontal therapy to help patients have healthy gums and teeth. If you’re concerned about your oral health, contact our office at 972-727-5001.