Three out of four adults have some form of gum, or periodontal, disease. Often, the initial signs of gum disease are mild. In many cases, people may not realize they have a problem. Unfortunately, this condition can wreak havoc on your oral health and overall wellbeing. Gum disease has been linked to serious health issues like cardiovascular illness, increased risk of stroke, diabetes complications, and pre-term birth.
What causes gum disease?
Plaque and tartar build up are the main culprits when it comes to gum disease. Certain factors can increase your risk for gum disease, including genetics, tobacco use, hormones, and chronic illnesses.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Often, gum disease silently creates problems in your mouth. Typically, patients experience red, swollen, or bleeding gums. As the disease progresses, you may notice more serious concerns like persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and gum recession.
What are the levels of gum disease?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. At this point, the damage is still reversible. If it progresses to periodontitis, the bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth break down and may ultimately result in tooth and bone loss.
How can I prevent gum disease?
You can take several steps to keep your mouth healthy. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to remove food and bacteria from your mouth. Scheduling regular checkups will give your dentist a chance to evaluate your mouth and look for anything out of the ordinary.