Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. In adults, it is a major cause of tooth loss. Gum disease is usually painless, and therefore you may not even know that you have it. Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.
Here are some warning signs that can alert you to a problem:
- do your gums bleed easily?
- are your gums red, swollen, or tender?
- have your gums pulled away from your teeth?
- do you have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth?
- are any of your teeth loosening or separating?
- are there changes in the way that your teeth fit together when you bite?
- is there a change in the fit of your partial dentures?
Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:
- poor oral hygiene
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
- medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
Please contact us at Brighter Smiles Dental if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.