Gum disease is a very common issue that we see at Bent Tree Dental. As almost half of American adults 30 years and older have some form of gum disease, it is a prevalent issue that deserves a thorough conversation. At our practice, many patients feel hesitant or embarrassed when it comes to addressing their oral health concerns, sometimes choosing to avoid the conversation entirely. We believe that an important part of our patient’s health is ensuring they feel comfortable talking to us about their dental issues. We will always be the first to tell you that gum disease is common and preventable, and we can help treat it if it does occur.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease or periodontitis, is an infection that affects the gums, damaging the tissues surrounding your teeth. The disease is mainly caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film created from food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not effectively removed, it can turn into tartar. This substance is difficult to remove and further aggravates the problem.
Left untreated, gum disease can damage the bone supporting your teeth, potentially resulting in tooth loss. While prevalent, periodontitis is preventable with proper oral hygiene, such as brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and visiting Bent Tree Dental for routine dental cleanings.
Some of the signs indicating gum disease are:
- Tender or swollen gums
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Discomfort while chewing
- Formation of black triangle-like spaces between teeth
While these are some common signs of gum disease, sometimes the symptoms can go unnoticed. At your regular checkups, we will assess your teeth and gums to determine if further steps are needed to prevent or address gum disease.