Periodontal Gum Care
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults over age 35. Gum disease ranges from gingivitis to various forms and stages of periodontitis. The prevalence of gum disease increases with age because teeth wear down and become more sensitive as time passes; gums naturally recede and medications can greatly affect oral health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. Teeth are supported by the gums, or gingiva. A tooth’s root is anchored to its socket by fibers called periodontal ligaments.
The gums do not attach to the teeth as firmly as one might think. A shallow, V-shaped gap called a sulcus exists between the teeth and the gums. Periodontal disease affects this gap. Eventually, in periodontal disease, the tissues supporting the tooth break down. If only the gums are involved in this breakdown, the disease is called gingivitis. If only the connecting tissues and bone are involved, it is called periodontitis.
If your gums feel tender or sore, or if your gums look red and swollen, you may have gum disease. Other warning signs include:
- Bleeding and/or Receding Gums
- Pain or Sensitive Teeth
- Persistent Bad Breath
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth-loss, as well as, various serious health problems.
If you have any degree of gum disease, Love Family Dental wants to help. Gum disease used to require surgery; however, many cases are now treated with less invasive techniques first, including deep dental cleanings, local antibiotics, and special mouth rinses.