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What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease – also referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease – is an infection of the gums that is common, chronic, and largely preventable. This infection starts with oral bacteria growth. If left untreated, gum disease will destroy the bone that supports the teeth and result in tooth loss. The most common cause of gum disease is the extensive buildup of plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth. When you take care of your oral hygiene and keep up with your bi-annual dental visits, you highly lessen your likelihood of developing gum disease.

Gum Disease Causes

Gum disease is most commonly caused by the extensive buildup of plaque on the teeth. However, other oral health issues can result in gum disease. Being aware of these various oral health issues can help you recognize them and get treatment for them. Below, we’ve gone into detail about these various causes of gum disease:

  • Extensive Buildup Of Plaque – Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth. Plaque typically forms when the starches and sugars from the food you’ve consumed interact with the bacteria usually found inside your mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting your dentist twice a year can help prevent extensive plaque buildup.
  • Hardened Plaque Under Gumline – If plaque remains on the teeth, it can reach the gum line and become tartar, also known as calculus. Tarter is more difficult to remove than plaque, and it’s filled with bacteria. The longer it lives on the teeth and gum line, the more damage it will do.
  • Gingivitis – Excessive amounts of plaque can cause gingivitis, which is the mildest form of gum disease. Gingivitis is essentially the irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue around the base of the teeth, also known as gingiva.
  • Ongoing Gum Inflammation – When your gums are inflamed for a prolonged period, pockets can form between your gums and teeth. These pockets will fill with plaque, tartar, and bacteria, causing gum disease. Over time, these pockets can become more profound and fill with even more bacteria, eventually leading to tissue loss, bone loss, and tooth loss.

Gum Disease Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the above causes of gum disease, such as the extensive buildup of plaque, hardened plaque under the gum line, gingivitis, or ongoing gum inflammation, we advise you to keep an eye out for the following signs you might have gum disease:

  • Gums that bleed easily or feel tender to the touch
  • Gums that are swollen, puffy, or bright red
  • Your toothbrush that is tinged with pink after brushing
  • Spitting out blood after brushing or flossing teeth
  • Gums that pull away or recede from your teeth
  • Pus in between your teeth or gums
  • Painful chewing, bad breath, or tooth loss
  • New spaces between your teeth
  • A change in how your teeth fit together

Gum Disease Treatment

If you are suffering from gum disease, it can cause significant damage to your mouth, teeth, and overall oral health. To avoid long-lasting and severe damage, the condition must be treated as soon as possible. There are non-surgical treatment methods, such as scaling, root planing, and antibiotics, but we offer surgical treatment options as well. Treatment will clean the pockets are the teeth and prevent the surrounding bone from enduring damage. For the best results, our expert team will pair routine professional oral care with non-surgical or surgical gum disease treatment, depending on your unique needs and situation. Surgical treatment options for gum disease include flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, bone grafting, guided tissue regeneration, and tissue-stimulating proteins.

Contact Us Today For Gum Disease Treatment

For a professional periodontist that can efficiently treat your gum disease symptoms, choose Smile Zone Dental. With multiple locations in Monroe, Canton, and Fort Gratiot, MI, you can visit the most convenient facility for you. In addition to periodontal therapy, we offer a wide range of other dental services. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.