Watching Out for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a silent disease and it can sneak up on you if you don’t know what to look for. It starts out in a mild form called gingivitis and it is the early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis rarely causes pain and the symptoms are red, swollen gums and some bleeding after brushing and flossing between your teeth. It is important to consult with your dentist with these symptoms. Gingivitis that is left untreated can progress into periodontitis, which is more serious and can lead to tooth loss and other periodontal complications and problems. It is important to keep an eye on your gums and to be aware of the signs of gum disease. Anyone can get gum disease, but some things increase your risks.
Some signs of Gingivitis:
· Red, swollen gums;
· Bleeding after brushing and flossing between your teeth.
Some signs of Periodontal Disease:
· Bleeding and tender gums
· Teeth look longer due to gum recessions;
· Deep pockets between teeth and gums;
· Looseness or shifting of your teeth;
· Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth;
· Changes of the teeth fit together when biting.
Some factors that increase the risk of gum disease:
· Poor oral hygiene:
- Failure to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing between your teeth to remove plaque and tartar;
-Frequent snacking on sugary foods and drink;
· Tobacco use:
-It is bad for your oral health;
-Smokers develop more tartar on their teeth than non-smokers;
-Chemicals in tobacco products affect the saliva flow in the mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to stick to the teeth and gums.
-Decreases immunity and lowers your ability to fight infection;
-Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and others.
-Medications that cause dry mouth;
-Medications that treat high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer treatment and others.
-Weakens the immune system and makes it harder for the body to fight off infection;
-Patients are prone to developing periodontal disease.
Watch out for gum disease and ask yourself these questions:
· Do my gums seem read and puffy?
· Do my gums bleed when I brush or floss between my teeth?
· Do I have any teeth that feel loose?
· Do my teeth look like they are getting longer?
· Do my teeth fit together differently when I bite down?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, consult with your dentist about gum disease.
· Dental checkups and cleaning at least 2 times per year;
· Brush your teeth 2 times per day and floss daily.
Dr. Anna Lee is a general & cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA. She is experienced in all phases of dentistry. She treats patients of all ages. If you notice any signs of gingivitis and/or gum disease, please call our office for a dental checkup at 626-335-5114. Visit us at www.annaleedds.com.