Gum disease is a progressive condition affecting the oral structures (gum tissue and bone) and systemic health. The leading cause of tooth loss among Manhattan, NY adults, gum disease is dangerous for many reasons, including its “silent” early symptoms. In many cases, a patient may not even realize they have gum disease until a dental professional diagnoses them or the condition has advanced far enough to have noticeable symptoms. At the first sign of trouble—tender gums that bleed easily—contact your local periodontist for gum disease treatment right away!
Is Your Mouth Healthy?
If you have a healthy mouth and oral structures, this means your teeth are secured by healthy bone and your gum tissue fits snuggly around your tooth roots. The surfaces of the teeth and the spaces between them are clean and free from food debris (plaque) because teeth are brushed and flossed each day. Hygiene appointments twice a year remove any plaque and tartar deposits hardened to the teeth that the toothbrush and floss didn’t catch. This is the ideal situation for proper and long-lasting dental health. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for many people.
How Gum Disease Develops
Gum disease first begins developing when plaque is left to harden on the surface of the teeth, often due to a neglected oral hygiene routine. Over time, this bacteria-releasing tartar irritates and infects the gum tissues and causes them to pull away from the teeth. The newly exposed tooth roots and pockets between the teeth collect even more plaque and tartar deposits, further infecting the gum tissues. This newly broken seal between the mouth and the rest of the body also allows bacteria to travel into the bloodstream and throughout the body.
Over time, this infection will irreversibly damage the gums and bone around teeth, increasing their risk of becoming loose and even falling out! Advanced cases of gum disease, characterized by infection and chronic inflammation, can aggravate systemic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, making it more complicated to manage them properly.
Know When to Get Treatment
Gum disease may start quietly, but there are still signs that something is wrong, even in the “silent” early stages. If your gums look red, feel tender, and bleed easily whenever you brush and floss, these are leading symptoms of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Another common early symptom of gum disease is receding gums or gums that look like they’ve pulled away from the teeth. Even if you’re unsure if you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, contact a periodontist who can evaluate the health of your gum tissues.
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