Your oral health is of prime importance; when compromised, it can lead to complications in other body systems. For instance, a bacterial infection in the teeth can lead to a blood infection if it goes unchecked. There are several critical dental issues you need to be aware of. One of them is gum disease. This post will explore what you need to know to prevent, detect and treat this dental threat.

Causes of Gum Disease

Sign of Gum Disease: woman with toothache pain in charlotte

Before we explore the causes of gum disease, it’s important to define what it is. It is worth noting that gum disease is the same as periodontitis or periodontal disease. As with any other disease, it has a cause. Find out what it is in the following post:

A buildup of bacteria in the mouth can eventually cause periodontitis.

All of our mouths have bacteria — that’s healthy and normal. But some types of bacteria mix with mucus (fluid we produce) and other substances. This combination forms a film on our teeth called plaque. When you brush and floss, you get rid of plaque. But if you don’t do so regularly, the plaque hardens and forms tartar. You can’t get rid of tartar through brushing — you need professional dental cleaning.

The buildup of plaque and tartar leads to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gingivae (gums). Your gums start to swell and bleed. Read more at Cleveland Clinic…

Clearly, every person is prone to gum disease, since it develops as a result of normal oral activities. Gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. Healthy oral hygiene habits are therefore indispensable as they can prevent the development of gum disease.

Types of Gum Disease

Adult-Dentistry-Of-Ballantyne-Charlotte-Dentist-oral-bacteriaGum disease manifests itself in different forms. However, with timely and accurate intervention, you can avoid it. Here’s a quick look at how gum disease progresses from gingivitis to full-blown periodontal disease:

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It typically represents the very first stages of disease…This early stage of gum disease can easily be reversed with professional dental cleanings and improvements in your daily oral hygiene routine…

Periodontitis is an advanced and serious form of gum disease…In the most advanced cases, there can be tooth loss. There are three sub-types of periodontitis.

Chronic periodontitis. This results in progressive gum detachment, bone loss, and inflammation within the teeth’s supporting tissues. This is the most common form of gum disease, most often seen in adults. It can, however, occur at any age.

Aggressive periodontitis. This typically occurs on those who are otherwise healthy. Rapid loss of gum attachment and bone loss are common features of this form of gum disease. It is quite often seen in children under the age of 12.

Periodontitis as the manifestation of systemic disease. This can often start when patients are young. Read more at OG Dental Denver…

At the very least, if your gums bleed any time you brush your teeth, that’s your cue to get a dental check-up. Avoid the urge to postpone the appointment as any delays could further the development.

Effects of Gum Disease

Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne

Gum disease, that is, gingivitis and periodontitis, can be quite detrimental to your oral health. Learn how it could lead to further damage:

In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.

Toxins or poisons — produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body’s “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections — start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs. Read more at Web MD…

Don’t wait until your teeth are at risk to seek treatment for your gum disease. If you are unhappy with your smile for any reason, schedule a free, no-obligation smile consultation with Dr. Robert Harrell at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on our website to set your appointment. Dr. Harrell will review your needs, explain the cosmetic dentistry options that are appropriate for your circumstances and help you decide which best suits your needs. Get in touch with us today to begin your beautiful new smile journey.