Your mouth is full of bacteria. In fact, there are more bacteria in your mouth than there are cells in your body! Most of these bacteria are harmless, but some can cause problems like gum disease.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. Plaque forms on your teeth at every meal, and if it isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar.
Once tartar forms, it’s easy for bacteria to get trapped in the spaces between your teeth and gums. This can cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed easily.
If left untreated, gum disease can damage the gums, teeth, and bones. It can also lead to other serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
What Is a Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that supports your teeth. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and turn into tartar (calculus). Once tartar forms, it is much more difficult to remove.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
There are two main types of gum disease:
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and turn into tartar (calculus). Once tartar forms, it is much more difficult to remove.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontitis is caused by plaque that has not been removed and has hardened into tartar.
As the disease progresses, the tartar can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. This can cause the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
How to Spot Gum Disease
Gum disease is usually painless in the early stages, so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
The early signs of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to see a dentist right away. The sooner gum disease is treated, the better. If left untreated, gum disease will only get worse. The later stages of gum disease include:
- Bone loss
- Tooth loss
- Receding gums
- Oral health problems
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious problem that can lead to tooth loss, bad breath, and other health problems. Luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent it.
One of the most important things you can do is to brush your teeth twice a day. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, reducing your risk of gum disease.
It is also important to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will help keep your gums healthy. Avoiding sugary and acidic foods will also help reduce your risk of gum disease.
If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your gum health. Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease, so quitting will dramatically reduce your risk.
Finally, see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. This will help remove any tartar buildup on your teeth and give your dentist a chance to spot any early signs of gum disease.
By following these tips, you can greatly reduce your risk of gum disease.
Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems, and it is also one of the most preventable. If you have any of these signs, it’s important to see your dentist right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the progression of gum disease and can help improve your oral health.
At Manassas Smiles, we offer a range of treatments for gum diseases, depending on the severity of your condition. We offer both surgical and non-surgical options, and will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. Let us help you regain and maintain good oral health. Schedule an appointment with us today!