HEALTHY MOUTH TIPS
Gum Disease & Gum Recession
Gum disease can be very serious and can lead to tooth loss when it is not treated in a timely manner. Since gum disease is almost invisible in the beginning, many patients never even know that they have it. This means that you go day in and out without showing symptoms even though the disease is progressing. It does not take long for gum disease to spiral out of control and the issues that arise from it are often irreparable.
Periodontal disease IS gum disease and is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. There are several stages in the disease and Dr. Kim wants you to be aware that when the initial infection takes place, it is treatable. Once the disease progresses, the bones and ligaments are destroyed.
The first time you may hear about gum disease is when you go in for your checkup. Dr. Kim wants to warn that more than half of adults have gum disease and more than three-quarters of adults over 35 have periodontal disease.
Below, Dr. Kim will discuss some of the signs of periodontal disease, how it is treated, and what to know about receding gums. If you have any questions about gum disease or you would like to schedule an appointment with us, call our Torrance office today.
What Are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?
The major cause of periodontal disease is how the bacteria in your mouth and plaque react with one another. When they combine, toxins form and this leads to irritation of the gums and they tend to inflame. This is the process in which the gum tissue is destroyed, and your gums separate from the teeth. If you do not receive treatment, the bone in your jaw will be affected.
When plaque is not removed from your teeth, you will notice that a substance forms on them and this is known as tartar. When the tartar forms below the gum line, it starts to irritate the gums, and this can cause further issues too. At this point, only a dentist or hygienist can remove the tartar from your teeth.
Several factors influence how severe gum disease is and they include:
- Oral contraceptives and pregnancy
- Diseases such as AIDS or diabetes
- Smoking or chewing tobacco products
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Certain medications
- Food that is impacted between your teeth
- Badly aligned teeth
- Defective fillings
- Poorly fitting bridges
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor diet and nutrition
What Are Some of the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
While the earliest symptoms of gum disease are not always noticeable, once the disease progresses enough, you will start to see changes and the symptoms will show. Some of the symptoms include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
- Pus in between the gums and teeth
- Swollen, red, and tender gums
- Changes in the way your dentures fit or how your teeth fit when you bite down
- Tooth loss
- Teeth that have gums receding on them
- Teeth that are loose or teeth that have shifted in place
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Dr. Kim wants you to know that it is possible to treat gum disease and if you think you may have gum disease, you should call our Torrance office. Gum disease can be treated quickly when it is in the first stages, but the longer you wait, the more severe the symptoms become.
Gum disease is treated using a deep cleaning which is often referred to as root scaling and planing. This is an extensive cleaning procedure and takes multiple Torrance office visits.
If the gum disease has progressed to cause deep pocket formations, you may need antibiotics to treat the infection.
What About My Gums That Are Receding?
Gums that recede are often an alarming symptoms and many patients call us in a panic because of it. Sometimes, aging is the cause of the recession, but, aggressive toothbrushing and periodontal disease can cause them to recede too. Since three out of four adults do have periodontal disease, it is no surprise that gum recession does not start or is not noticed until the later stages of the infection.
The earliest stages of gum disease result in swollen and red gums. At this stage, the disease can be reversed quickly and without major issues. As the disease continues to progress and go without treatment, serious damage can occur such as bone loss or tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the main reason why about 70% of adults experience tooth loss.
While this does sound scary, Dr. Kim is here to help you. Our experts want to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. If your gums have receded or are receding, it is important to let us know. You may be in need of a graft or filling to prevent sensitivity of the tooth and to prevent further gum recession.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you have poor oral health, questions about gum disease, or you have noticed your gums are receding, it is important to book an appointment at Steve S. Kim DDS today. Dr. Kim will guide you and provide you with the treatment you need for your gum disease. Remember, the earlier the infection is treated, the better. The longer you allow it to continue, the more likely it is that you will experience tooth loss.
We want you to have a beautiful smile! Call our Torrance office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kim.