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Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

Can You Tell Me About Gum Disease?

Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an incredibly harmful array of conditions that can lead to losing your teeth. It can also cause a number of complications with your overall health. Some of these complications are dangerous and life threatening. In order to combat this disease, it’s best that you become as educated as possible as to how to recognize the signs and symptoms.

How Periodontal Disease Negatively Impacts Your Health

Did you know that gum disease affects an estimated 75 percent of American adults and that only 15 percent of those people know that they have some form of periodontal disease? Did you also know that at least 60 percent of teenagers in America have some type of gum disease? In addition to this, there are nearly 30 percent of people who are afflicted with gum disease because they have a genetic predisposition towards developing it. Managing your oral health via a consistent basic dental care routine can help prevent the disease from setting in or progressing. A good routine will help you prevent, treat and reverse periodontal disease. Another way to prevent permanent damage from occurring to your teeth and gums is to know the signs and symptoms of this condition.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It develops after bacteria has built up within the mouth. This bacteria inflames the gums and causes them to become red, swollen and to bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Leaving gingivitis untreated is the main reason why adults wind up losing their teeth. This unfortunate consequence of periodontal disease can easily be avoided with proper oral health care.

What Causes Gum Disease to Develop?

Just as with cavities and tooth decay, plaque and bacteria are the main reasons behind the development of periodontal disease. However, there are also certain factors that can contribute to your risk of developing the disease being greater. These include:

  • Hormonal changes. Scientists have discovered that the hormonal changes that happen to women during puberty, menopause, pregnancy and menstruation can also lead to the gums becoming more sensitive and more likely to develop gingivitis.
  • Illnesses. Any disease or sickness that leads to an increased risk of developing infections also leads to an increased risk of periodontal disease. Common diseases that can affect the condition of your gums are cancer, diabetes and HIV.
  • Medications. Prescription medications that cause dry mouth can also lead to gum disease. This is because dry mouth limits the production of saliva in the mouth, leading to more bacteria being present within the mouth.
  • Poor lifestyle habits. Partaking in tobacco use – whether it be chewing or smoking – damages the gum tissue and increases the levels of toxins in your mouth.
  • Dental care neglect. Neglecting your dental hygiene is another risk factor of developing gum disease. Not brushing or flossing on a daily basis allows for plaque and bacteria to remain in the mouth. Not visiting your dentist consistently also leads to higher levels of bacteria.

How to Know If You Have Gum Disease

The best way to know if you have gum disease is to visit your dentist. He or she will be able to properly diagnosis you. If you have any of the following symptoms, it is likely that you some form of periodontal disease:

  • Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing
  • Swollen, red or tender gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Persistent foul taste
  • Receding gum line
  • Pockets forming between the teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth or teeth that shift
  • Changes in bite or in the way your dentures fit

What Everyone Should Know About Periodontal Disease

Advanced stage periodontal disease is gingivitis that has never been treated. When this happens, the teeth and gum tissue separate, developing into pockets that collect debris and harbor infections. As the disease progresses, the gum line is worn away, causing instability in the teeth.

Over time, plaque begins to spread under the gum line. The plaque produces toxins that lead to irritation and inflammation that break down the bone and tissue beneath the teeth. This causes the gums and teeth to further separate and destroys the underlying support of bone and tissue. This is why the teeth become loose and begin to fall out. Periodontitis is a problem that is common in patients who also have systemic diseases such as heart ailments, respiratory diseases or diabetes.

There are different types of periodontitis that can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. They include:

  • Chronic periodontitis. Perhaps the most common diagnosis in adults. This form of the disease features inflammation of supporting tissues, as well as slowly losing attachment.
  • Aggressive periodontitis. This type of gum disease aggressively attacks the bone and supporting tissues at a rapid rate, leading to you losing your teeth faster.
  • Necrotizing periodontitis. This kind of periodontal disease features the death of gum tissue, ligaments and bone. It tends to occur in those with suppressed immune systems.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

  • Eat a diet low in sugars and starches.
  • Brush at least twice a day with an ADA-approved toothpaste.
  • Rinse with an ADA-approved mouthwash for at least 60 seconds after brushing.
  • Floss a minimum of once per day.

Don’t Let Periodontal Disease Set In

You may not think that you have periodontal disease because you don’t have any symptoms. However, it’s important to understand that you can have the disease with very little signs of it until it has progressed to a more advanced stage. Only your dentist can tell you if you have gum disease. Seeing a dentist on a routine basis in Palm Coast is the best way to ensure that you are protecting your oral health.

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(386) 246-7619

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