Gum Disease Symptoms and Risks
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is an infection in the gum tissue and jaw bone around your teeth. It’s one of the most common reasons behind tooth loss in Clear Lake.
Causes of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a serious condition that is also avoidable. The most common cause is inadequate dental care from not brushing as often or as well as you should, not flossing regularly, and not seeing a dentist periodically for a professional cleaning.
Plaque forms on your teeth every several hours whether you eat or not. It’s up to you to remove the plaque by brushing your teeth regularly and properly. If your teeth stay exposed to plaque for many hours it turns into hard tartar, which is impossible for you to remove at home.
Here are some tips to help you prevent tartar buildup:
A Good Brushing Routine ー It’s best to brush your teeth after every meal but at least twice per day. Using an electric toothbrush can be very helpful in removing plaque, especially along the gums.
Floss Daily ー Dental floss removes food from between your teeth that the toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing should be done at least once per day. A water flosser that uses pressurized water to flush debris out from between your teeth and under the gums also works very well.
Regular Dental Cleanings ー You should plan a professional cleaning at least every six months. Our Clear Lake dentist may recommend some patients come in more often. During your visit, we’ll remove any tartar buildup that has accumulated since your last checkup.
Quit Smoking ー Smoking weakens your immune system and makes you twice as likely to develop gum disease.Symptoms of Gum Disease
If you have an of the following symptoms, then you should visit our Clear Lake dentist right away to get evaluated and possibly receive treatment for periodontitis:
- Red, swollen, and sore gum tissue
Tartar and calculus buildup contain bacteria that cause gums to be red, puffy, and feel sore. Healthy gum tissue is pink and tight around the base of the teeth.
- Gums bleed easily when you brush or floss
When your gums aren’t healthy, they will bleed easily. If you do have bleeding that occurs, keep brushing and flossing because doing so will get you one step closer to having healthier gums.
- Persistent bad breath
Gum disease is an active infection in your mouth that contains millions of bacteria that cause bad breath. If you brush and use mouth wash but still have persistent bad breath, then you may have periodontitis.
- Teeth have shifted
When the infection is severe, the bacteria eat away at the bone that holds the roots of your teeth in place. When you lose bone, the roots won’t be stable enough and your teeth will begin to shift. You may notice teeth are spacing apart, slanting, or protruding out of the bone more than they were before.
- Your teeth are loose
As your periodontal disease continues to progress, you’ll experience more bone loss, which means that the roots of your teeth don’t have a stable foundation and they’ll feel loose.
- Tooth loss
When the bone is completely eroded, your teeth will fall out on their own. This is the most advanced stage of gum disease.
Risks of Gum Disease
Periodontitis is a serious condition. The bacterial infection can get into your bloodstream and cause heart disease and stroke. Gum disease has also been linked to cancer of the pancreas, kidneys, and blood. The infection can even get into your lungs and cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
Treating Gum Disease
There are different ways to treat periodontitis. The appropriate treatment will be based on what extent of gum disease you have.
Scaling and Root Planing
During this treatment, our hygienist will use a vibrating tool that sprays water to remove the hard calculus from around and underneath your gums.
If the buildup is farther into the gum than the scaler can reach, then you may need to have gum surgery or even grafting to reinforce the teeth. These advanced procedures are usually performed by a periodontal specialist.
Gum Disease Dentist In Clear Lake, TX
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist for a cleaning, then call Rosas Family Dentistry of Clear Lake, TX today. No matter how long it’s been since your last checkup, we can help you get your smile back on the right track!