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Dental Arts of South Jersey
1001 Laurel Oak Road, C1, Voorhees, NJ 08043

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Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

How Can I Learn About Gum Disease?

Were you aware of the fact that gum disease is just as dangerous to your oral and physical health as tooth decay and cavities are? Known as periodontal disease in the medical world, gum disease is a group of conditions that destroys gum tissue and bone, leading to tooth loss and other serious health conditions. Gum disease is easily treatable in its earliest stages. That means it is important that you become informed of the early signs of having it. Continue reading to learn more about periodontal disease and how to prevent it from causing irreversible damage to your smile.

The Ways Gum Disease Negatively Impacts Your Health

Are you curious about what gingivitis is and how it differs from periodontal disease? Do you wonder about what these two conditions have to do with you and your oral health? Gingivitis and periodontal disease are types of gum disease that impact people of all ages. Experts currently estimate that 75 percent of adults in America have gum disease and that a mere 15 percent of those people know that they have the condition. Not only that, but 60 percent of teens over the age of 15 are afflicted with some type of periodontal disease. There are many things that people can do to prevent gum disease, but it’s important to know that there are around 30 percent of people who have gum disease solely due to the fact that they have a genetic predisposition towards developing it. Basic dental care can assist in preventing the development and progression of the disease. Staying on top of your dental routine and visiting the dentist regularly is imperative when it comes to the prevention, treatment and reversal of periodontal disease. To keep your smile protected over the years you need to know the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Caused by a bacteria buildup within mouth tissue, gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease. The word gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. Common symptoms include red, swollen gums that bleed easily when a person brushes their teeth. In this stage, your dentist can help you get rid of gingivitis before it turns into something serious. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is the main reason why adults lose their teeth, and the beginning stages are completely preventable. Luckily, utilizing proper dental care and a visit to your dentist can help to prevent the disease from progressing.

What Are the Primary Causes of Periodontal Disease?

While plaque and bacteria are the underlying causes of gum disease, there are a variety of age, gender and lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of developing it.

  • Hormonal changes. Women are more likely to develop gingivitis due to the fluctuations of hormones that they experience during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. These changes can cause the gums to be more sensitive.
  • Illnesses. Certain sicknesses and diseases can make you more prone to developing infections, including gum disease and cavities. A few examples of illnesses that can increase your risk are HIV, diabetes and cancer.
  • Medications. The types of medications you are prescribed by your doctor can also increase the risk of periodontal disease. This is because certain prescription drugs can lead to dry mouth, a condition in which the production of saliva is decreased. This leads to more bacteria being present within the mouth.
  • Poor lifestyle habits. Participating in activities such as chewing or smoking tobacco can make it more difficult for your gums to heal. Tobacco use also increases the levels of toxins in your mouth.
  • Dental care neglect. When you don’t brush or floss on a daily basis, the amount of bacteria in your mouth rises. In addition to this, skipping routine dental visits and professional cleanings leads to the build-up of bacteria in areas of the mouth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush.

The Symptoms of Gum Disease

Most people don’t realize that they have gum disease until it has advanced into a more damaging form of the disease. Knowing the early signs of the condition can help to prevent permanent damage from being done to your teeth and gums. Symptoms you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
  • Gums that are tender, swollen or red
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Chronic foul taste
  • Receding gum line
  • “Pockets” forming between the gum line and the teeth
  • Loose teeth or teeth that shift easily
  • Changes in your bite or in the way your dentures fit

What You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis will turn into periodontal disease if you don’t take care of the problem. As periodontal disease sets in, your gums and teeth will begin to pull away from one another, leading to the creation of pockets in between the two. These pockets will collect debris and become infected. The gum line will eventually be worn down and your teeth will become unstable.

Plaque can also move to the areas beneath the gum line. The inflammation and irritation caused by the toxins within the plaque will break down the bone and tissue beneath the teeth, causing the teeth and gums to further separate. This process also involves the further destruction of tissue and bone that support the teeth. When things have progressed this far, your dentist will only be able to prevent further damage, nothing can be done to reverse the damage already caused.

When the condition reaches its most advanced stages, your teeth will become loose and may fall out or need to be removed. People with diseases such as heart disease, respiratory disease or diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontitis.

There are many different kinds of periodontitis. The type that you are most at risk of developing depends on a variety of factors:

  • Chronic periodontitis consists of the supporting tissues becoming inflamed and the teeth and gums slowly losing their attachments to one another. It is most commonly diagnosed in adults.
  • Aggressive periodontitis tends to affect in people who are generally healthy. It consists of the bone being rapidly destroyed and the attachments between the teeth and gums to quickly deteriorate.
  • Necrotizing periodontitis occurs when the periodontal ligaments, gum tissue and bone begin to die. This is a common occurrence in people with suppressed immune systems.

Periodontal Disease Prevention Tips

  • Be sure to eat a diet low in sugars and starches.
  • Brush with an ADA-approved toothpaste twice a day. If you can, brush after every meal. At the very least, you should rinse your mouth out with water after each meal.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Utilize a mouthwash after brushing. You should swish the mouthwash thoroughly for a minimum of 60 seconds.

Protect Yourself From Periodontal Disease

Frequently brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as following any other recommendations your dentist gives you, is the best way to reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease. If you believe that you suffer from this condition, you should contact an experienced dentist in Voorhees as soon as possible so that you can be treated. Contact our office as soon as you can so that we can schedule an appointment to get your oral health back on track.

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