Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. It is more likely to occur in people with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or AIDS.
Our top-notch and experienced dentist at ManiDental Family Practice strives to provide patients with extraordinary oral care and ensure patients get optimal gum disease treatment in Elkin, NC. Below is detailed information on gum disease, its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What You Should Know About Gum Diseases
Gum diseases are infections that affect the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. These include the gums, bones, and ligaments that hold the teeth in place. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 45% of the world’s population has some form of periodontal disease. Even young adults and children can get gum diseases.
Gum diseases can lead to serious health problems. Research has shown that gum diseases are linked to a range of systemic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory problems. Can gum disease be cured? Yes! However, if left untreated, progressive periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the gum tissues surrounding the teeth. The causes of gum disease are numerous and can range from poor oral hygiene to underlying medical conditions. Here are the main causes of gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene: Failure to brush and floss regularly can lead to the buildup of plaque, a sticky bacterial film that accumulates on the surface of the teeth. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar or calculus. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can trigger an inflammatory response in the gums, leading to gum disease.
- Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of gum disease by reducing blood flow to the gums, compromising the immune system, and keeping gum tissues from healing. Smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, can also cause gum disease as the small particles of the tobacco can irritate the gum tissues.
- Underlying medical conditions: Medical conditions such as diabetes can also cause gum disease. Diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease by reducing the body’s ability to fight off infection, leading to a compromised immune system. Similarly, HIV and autoimmune diseases can weaken the immune system, leaving the gum tissues vulnerable to infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Unfortunately, many people suffer from periodontal disease without even knowing it. Let’s delve into the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease.
- Bleeding gums: If you notice your gums bleeding when brushing or flossing, it is usually a sign of gum inflammation. Healthy gums should not bleed during brushing or flossing. If your gums are inflamed and bleed easily, it’s important to see a dentist right away.
- Bad breath: This is caused by bacteria and debris that accumulate in the spaces between the teeth and gums. This can be difficult to treat with mouthwashes or breath mints. If you have persistent bad breath, it’s important to see our dentist in Elkin, NC, Dr. Nicole Manigault, for an evaluation.
- Tooth sensitivity: As the gums recede and the tooth roots become exposed, they become more sensitive to hot or cold beverages and foods. If you experience tooth sensitivity, it’s important to see a dentist or periodontist for treatment.
Types of Gum Disease
Several types of gum disease can affect people of all ages. Let’s explore the different types of gum disease.
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums, and it can be treated with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.
- Periodontitis: This is a more severe form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Periodontitis occurs when the bacteria in plaque begin to attack the gums and bones that support the teeth, leading to bone loss.
Gum Disease Treatment in Elkin, NC
At ManiDental Family Practice, we specialize in effective gum disease treatment in Elkin, NC. We offer various treatment options like periodontal therapy to take care of your gum issues. Our dental team is always ready to help you prevent tooth loss and other health complications associated with periodontal disease.