Believe it or not, gum disease is very common; it affects over half of adults aged 30+ years. Gum disease, aka periodontal disease, is an infection or inflammation of the gum line or the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. It doesn’t always hurt, and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It comes in three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
To begin preventing or treating gum disease, you need to understand how you get it.
How Do You Get Gum Disease?
Of course, not brushing or flossing your teeth can easily result in the development of gum disease. Flossing removes plaque buildup and food debris that can cause problems like tooth decay and other issues that promote gum disease. However, there are many risk factors that cause gum disease that you should be aware of, such as:
- Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing infections, including gum disease.
- Smoking: Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors of gum disease, and it can even hinder your chances of having successful treatment. If you suspect or know that you have gum disease and you’re a smoker, then you should quit smoking as soon as possible!
- Genetic susceptibility: Some people are more prone to gum disease than others due to their genetic makeup.
- Medications: Some medications reduce saliva flow, and others can cause gum tissue to overgrow, making it difficult to clean your mouth.
- Female hormonal changes: Hormonal changes can make gums more sensitive, which can cause them to develop gingivitis easily. A classic example of this is gingivitis that is aggravated by pregnancy hormones.
If you think you are at risk for gum disease, you should look for common symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease does not happen overnight, but there are some common warning signs that you could be developing it or already have it. Symptoms of gum disease can include (but are not limited to):
- Gums that easily bleed
- Persistent bad breath or taste in your mouth
- Changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite
- Gums that are swollen, tender, and red
- Changes in how partial dentures fit
- Your permanent teeth have become loose or separated
- Your gums are pulling away from your teeth
- Chewing is painful
- Your teeth feel sensitive overall
These symptoms are uncomfortable, and the worse they feel or the more they occur can signal the advancement of gum disease. If you are unsure, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Apple Valley Dental Group believes that the earlier you identify gum disease, the better the chances you have for treating it—which all starts with a dental checkup. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, please contact us today!