What is gum disease? How is gum disease treated?

gum diseaseDo you red, swollen gums? Are your gums bleeding while brushing or flossing? Do you bad breath you can’t shake? Sores in your mouth? A receding gum line? Time to visit your dentist. Any of these symptoms can be linked to gum disease, also called periodontal disease, an inflammation of the gums that hold your teeth in place.

The mild form of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by symptoms such as red, swollen gums and bleeding; gingivitis can be reversed and does not always progress into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is the condition that stems from untreated gingivitis, and is a chief cause of tooth loss in adults. During periodontitis, the gums recede from the teeth and form pockets. As periodontitis progresses, your immune system attacks your gum tissue and teeth causing tooth loss.

When discussing gum disease with our patients, we often hear “why me?” You may have an increased risk of gum disease because of:

  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Medication & treatments
  • Poor oral health
  • Female hormonal changes

The good news about gum disease is that it is treatable, though treatment options vary from patient to patient. If you are concerned about the possibility of gum disease, or have been diagnosed with gum disease, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists to discuss your options and get your gum disease under control. Don’t wait. Gum disease is a progressive disease that can be treated and even reversed if caught early enough. Schedule an appointment to reverse it (don’t wait!), get it under control, and keep it under control, so you don’t have to worry about gum disease.