If you have been told you have periodontal disease, you have a gum condition that can range from mild inflammation to periodontitis the more serious form that often leads to tooth loss. Gum disease is common and many adults currently have some level of gingivitis, the less serious form of gum disease.
The ability to prevent, slow, or stop gum disease rests mostly with you and your oral hygiene habits. Completely reversing severe gum disease is difficult, if not impossible, and therefore caring for your teeth should be a priority. Schedule an appointment with our dentist in Tulsa for preventative care.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The bacteria in our mouth, along with other biologic materials create plaque. When plaque is allowed to build up it becomes tartar, a harder substance that cannot be brushed away. This bacteria-harboring tartar causes inflammation of the gums or “gingivitis.”
If you have gingivitis, your gums have become red, swollen and may bleed. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that is reversible with an improved oral health care routine and regular professional dental cleanings. Gingivitis does not cause tooth loss.
What if I have Periodontitis?
Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to “periodontitis,” which refers to more severe inflammation around your teeth. If you have periodontitis, your gums have receded from the teeth and pockets have formed as bacteria and plaque have grown below the gum line. Toxic bacterial byproducts, along with your own body’s natural immune response begin breaking down the gum tissue and bone that support your teeth. If not treated, the connective tissue and bone that support the teeth can be permanently damaged. This is the cause of tooth loss
Who Gets Gum Disease?
There are several risk factors for developing gum disease:
- Tobacco Use
- Poor oral care habits
- Hormonal changes in women can make gums more prone to gingivitis
- Genetic susceptibility - Some people are more prone to developing gum disease
- Diabetes - People with diabetes are at higher risk gum disease and other infections
- Other underlying or systemic disease and its treatments can contribute to gums disease
- Medications - some medications reduce saliva which helps protect against gum disease
Age also plays a role. Signs of gum disease tend to occur when people reach their 30s or 40s, with men having a higher risk
Preventing Gum Disease
Seeing your dentist regularly and sticking to a proper home oral health care routine is vital to keep your smile healthy.
If you see signs of gum disease such as chronic bad breath, red, swollen, or bleeding gums see your dentist right away to prevent gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis.
If you are seeking a dentist in the Tulsa area to maintain, enhance, or restore your smile and total oral health, give us a call at Dentistry by Design of Tulsa.