What is Gum disease?
One of the conditions associated with oral health is periodontal disease, or gum disease – a bacterial infection in the gum tissue, characterized by red or puffy gums, bad breath, gums that bleed while brushing or flossing, and loose teeth resulting from bone loss. The American Dental Association and the American Heart Association have also determined that periodontal disease is linked to other health issues, including heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes.
Stages of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, which is most commonly characterized by gums that bleed during regular brushing and flossing. Gums with gingivitis may appear red, puffy, or swollen. One common misconception is that it is normal for gums to bleed sometimes, but this is false. Your gums should never bleed during regular brushing and flossing, if they do, it means you have gingivitis or early-stage gum disease and should consult your Brandon dentists right away.
Left untreated, gingivitis will cause the gums to become irritated enough to begin to recede and pull away from the teeth, making teeth appear “larger” than before. Gum recession leads to the formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums, which become a breeding ground for further infection. Any remaining healthy bone supporting the teeth will begin to deteriorate, causing the teeth to loosen and sometimes fall out. Tooth loss is a serious and irreversible consequence of untreated gum disease, which has also been linked to more than 50 systemic health problems, including heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and stroke.
Treat & Prevent Gum Disease
Home care and routine dental cleanings and exams with our dental team are fundamental to maintaining your overall oral health and preventing gum infections. It is important to brush and floss routinely in order to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and tissue. Dr. Walker and Dr. Barr evaluate the oral health of each patient to determine the level of dental care necessary to treat any periodontal conditions that may be found.