Gum disease is probably the most important oral health danger you face. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. It’s also been linked to many serious health conditions, from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease to autoimmune disorders. Treating gum disease saves your teeth, but it can save your health and even your life. That’s why it’s important to focus on the prevention and treatment of it.
If you are looking for a welcoming, friendly Pueblo dental office to help prevent or treat gum disease, Please call (719) 545-1400 today for an appointment at Advantage Dental Group. We’ve been part of the community for over 20 years, and many members of our team also have over 20 years experience. We will treat you right.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Although it’s best to treat gum disease as soon as possible, one of the challenges of it is that it doesn’t show many highly visible symptoms at first. Be on the watch out for:
- Redness or swelling in gums
- Bleeding and tenderness when you brush teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Food starts getting stuck in teeth or gums
- Teeth seem to get longer (receding gums)
- Teeth shift or seem loose
- Tooth loss
This list is roughly chronological, with the top symptoms being the most typical first symptoms. The lower on the list your symptoms are, the more urgent treatment becomes. Many people don’t notice the redness or swelling of gums, and some people assume that sensitivity and even bleeding when they brush is normal.
Persistent bad breath occurs because oral bacteria are often anaerobic, which means they use sulfur in place of oxygen, and produce smelly sulfur compounds as a result. Food trapped in teeth can also rot, creating smells.
Your teeth don’t keep growing as you get older. If your teeth seem to be getting longer, it’s because your gums are receding. This is a warning sign that gum disease is endangering your teeth. Gums are receding in part because the bone that supports them is being lost. This bone also anchors your teeth, so as it goes, your teeth can shift or seem loose. They can even be lost.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection that occurs in the area between your teeth and gums. Once bacteria get into this protected area, they can multiply more freely, producing strong acids that damage gums, teeth, and bone.
The damage of gum disease is partly caused by bacteria and partly by your immune system, which can be co-opted by oral bacteria and may also be attempting drastically destructive techniques to stop the infection.
How Gum Disease Impacts Your Health
Gum disease is a chronic infection that can spread through your body. It also creates a chronic inflammatory response, which traumatizes the body. And the effects on your immune system can also be destructive. Research has linked it to:
- Heart attack
- Autoimmune disorders
- Pregnancy complications
- Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
- Many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer
In some cases, we have a strong causal link established between gum disease and the other health conditions. In other cases, we just have a correlation with strong suspicions about a mechanism that links the two.
But it is telling that people with gum disease and many of these conditions can see major benefits from treating it. These benefits in terms of reduced hospitalizations and reduced treatment needs can amount to thousands of dollars a year in savings.
Treating Gum Disease
The treatment of gum disease depends on the stage of your gum disease. For early signs, we might just recommend minor changes to your oral hygiene and possibly more frequent professional cleanings and checkups.
If your gum disease has progressed to the point where it’s a serious concern, we may recommend a deep cleaning. In this procedure, we remove the bacteria from between your teeth and gums so your body can heal.
For even more advanced cases, we may recommend surgical treatment, which may also include extraction of endangered teeth to stop the progress of the disease and allow healing.
If you are concerned about gum disease in Pueblo and are looking for a dentist to help you treat it, please call (719) 545-1400 today for an appointment at Advantage Dental Group, your hometown Pueblo dentist.