A Better Understanding Gum Disease

A woman at a dentist appointment

Gum disease is a disease that affects the tissue surrounding your teeth. It is divided into two categories: periodontitis and gingivitis. It eventually leads to gum recession as the underlying jawbone is demineralized.

The good news is that gum disease is entirely treatable at most St Paul family dental offices. Here are some bits of information to help you gain a better understanding of gum disease:

Causes of Gum Disease

Other than bacteria, some factors can potentially lead to gum disease. Tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, malnutrition, and some medications such as nifedipine and diphenylhydantoin can cause the disease. Immune-suppressing illnesses and genetic predisposition have also been linked to this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is often subtle with very few noticeable signs. Some warning signs include bleeding gums when brushing, as well as red, tender, and swollen gums. Loose and shifting teeth with changes in your bite are some of the common symptoms. Gum recession where the roots of your teeth are exposed is often a sign of chronic gum disease.

Treatment of Gum Disease

Dental X-rays are the hallmark of gum disease diagnosis. Treatment begins with tartar and plaque removal using deep cleaning methods. Depending on the stage and cause of disease, antibiotics and SRP (scaling and root planing) may be used. For advanced gum recession, a gum graft may be the best treatment option.

Gum disease does not just affect your teeth and gums. Recent studies have linked this condition to respiratory infections, as well as kidney and pancreatic cancer. This is probably due to the chronic inflammation pattern. Regular dental visits are essential for early disease detection and treatment. The dentist will perform the right procedure to save your oral health.