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Gum Disease: What You Need to Know

Gum disease is a serious issue. It affects 80% of people over the age of 35. But how do you know if it will affect you? Taking care of your gums is an integral part of your overall oral health routine.

What’s Gum Disease & What’s Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the proper name for what most people call gum disease. Some of the main symptoms of periodontitis include inflammation, redness and bleeding of gums. These are the body’s natural defence against accumulated bacteria on your teeth.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Simply put, gum disease is caused by an excess of plaque. Plaque is loaded with bacteria that can be dangerous to your oral health. Your immune system will try to fight off the bacteria by releasing substances that inflame and damage your gums. This will, in turn, cause your gums to swell and bleed.

What Happens if Gum Disease Goes Untreated?

Leaving periodontitis untreated is a bad idea. Prolonged cases will cause your gums to pull away from the root and form infected pockets between your teeth. Severe gum disease can lead to bone loss, which will cause your teeth to become loose and eventually fall out or require extraction.

Symptoms & Treatments

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • bleeding gums after brushing
  • swollen gums
  • receding gums
  • loose teeth
  • foul taste in mouth
  • changes in the way your teeth fit together when biting down

Treatment largely depends on the stage of the disease, but it can range from non-surgical therapy to surgically restoring the tissue beneath your gums.

The Link Between Gum Disease & Other Medical Conditions

For people with weaker immune systems, bacteria in the mouth can make their way into the bloodstream and create complications resulting in atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease, among others.

If experience bleeding gums or other symptoms of gum disease, request an appointment at Panatella Dental.