Parkcrest Dental Group provides comprehensive dental care for you and your family. One thing we can help treat is gum disease, the signs of which appear in nearly half of all adults in America aged 30 or older.
In today’s blog, our dentists answer some frequently asked questions about gum disease.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is a very serious gum infection that damages the gums and soft tissues of your mouth.
What causes gum disease?
Bacteria in your mouth that builds up over time due to a lack of brushing. You must remove plaque and tartar from your mouth on a regular basis. We recommend twice per day by brushing your teeth and flossing to prevent this buildup and gum disease.
How many people have gum disease in the United States?
Nearly half of all adults in the United States (47.2%) 30 years old or older show signs of gum disease. Severe gum disease affects about 9 percent of all adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 70.1 percent of adults 65 years and older have gum disease (periodontal disease).
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
Watch for these signs that may indicate this problem. Only your dentist can make a proper diagnosis.
- Bad breath or foul taste that won’t go away
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Pain occurs when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Gums have pulled away from your teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Changes in the fit of your partial or full dentures
What factors can increase my risk for gum disease?
- Poor oral hygiene
- Crooked teeth
- Immune diseases
- Defective fillings
- Taking medications that cause dry mouth
- Dental bridges that no longer fit correctly
- Hormonal changes in females
How can I prevent or control gum disease?
- Brush and floss every day to remove bacteria.
- See a dentist every six months for your regular checkups.
What are the four stages of gum disease?
- Gingivitis. Otherwise known as gum inflammation, tends to happen around the base of someone’s teeth. Their gums might bleed a bit as you brush or floss, which they may see as you go about your normal oral hygiene routine. Other signs of gingivities include bad breath and redness of the gums.
- Slight gum disease. This may happen if patients don’t take care of their bleeding gums. Bacteria in teeth may start to get into the jaw where adult teeth stay anchored and strong. In addition to more bleeding, a dentist may notice some bone loss as he or she gently examines the gums. A dentist may recommend a deep cleaning at this stage and possibly antibiotics.
- Moderate gum disease. At this stage, a dentist may notice other difficulties start to set in. Treatment options for moderate gum disease include trying to stop the spread of the bacteria further into the bones. There is also a possibility that the infection may start to spread to the rest of someone’s body. A doctor may perform a deep cleaning while prescribing antibiotics to try to stop the bacteria from advancing.
- Advanced gum disease. Adult teeth are very stong and deeply set into the jawbone. For adult patients with advanced gum disease, they may see a loose tooth or several loose teeth, have pain while chewing, and notice very bad breath. A dentist may recommend oral surgery before the tooth loss increases. Without further treatment to stop the advance of gum disease, patients may also see spacing gaps between teeth and receding gums.
What serious complications can gum disease cause?
Gum disease may lead to loose teeth or tooth loss, in addition to receding gums.
Where can I find a dentist to help treat my gum disease?
Contact Parkcrest Dental or call (417) 887-1220 for more information or to make an appointment with us. Our staff can help you if you or someone in your family needs treatment for gum disease.