We have mentioned in previous posts that brushing, flossing, and regular visits to Oregon City Family Dentistry are important to maintain your oral health.
We’ve also mentioned that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Because of this, we want you to know what signs of gum disease, so you will know when you should seek professional treatment
If you live in our near Oregon City, OR, our dentists can help with non-surgical periodontal treatment in our office.
Watch For the Signs
There are two basic kinds of gum disease. They are gingivitis (the mild form) and periodontitis (the advanced form).
We’ll start with the symptoms of gingivitis. If you have this form of gum disease, it may mean that you need to improve your oral hygiene habits.
The good news is that following the American Dental Association recommendations to brush twice per day for two minutes each time and to floss daily can reverse gum disease at this stage.
Here are the things you should watch for:
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
For the sake of this post, let’s assume that you ignore the symptoms of gingivitis. With time, this can turn into periodontitis. This is a more serious condition, and it should be treated at a dentist’s office.
If you see the following symptoms, then you should call our office soon:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Constant bad breath
- A lingering bad taste in your mouth
- Gums that feel tender or sore
- Receding gums (gums that are pulling away from your teeth)
- Changes in how your teeth fit together
- Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
Those loose teeth can fall out if you don’t take steps at this point to get treated.
Know Your Risk
Inadequate oral hygiene is one of the common causes of gum disease, but it’s not the only factor to consider.
Some people are more likely to develop gum disease than others. If you fall in one of these categories, you should pay particular attention to your gum health:
► Family History
Some people are more prone to have gum disease, and part of that can be traced to genetics. If your family has a history of periodontal disease, then you may be more likely to develop it, too.
► Being A Female Going Through A Hormone Change
We know this isn’t fair, but it is true. Females are more susceptible to gum disease during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
► Having Diabetes
The reason for this isn’t not entirely clear, but researchers have noticed that people with diabetes are also more likely to have gum disease. One possibility is that dry mouth is one of the symptoms of diabetes, and dry mouth makes it more likely that you will have gum disease.
► Using Tobacco
Tobacco is awful for your oral health. It can seriously damage the soft tissues in your mouth. Tobacco use also makes gum disease treatment less effective and increases the odds that your gum disease will return.
Unfortunately, the medication you are taking to treat one condition can have side effects. Some medicines make you more likely to develop gum disease. Talk to your pharmacist to find out if this is something is a possibility when you receive your medicine.
Treating Gum Disease
We want to reiterate that prevention is the best approach to dealing with gum disease.
However, we also want you to know that Oregon City Family Dentistry is prepared to help if you or someone in your family does have periodontal disease.
One of the most common treatments is scaling and root planing.
With advanced periodontal disease, you can have pockets in your gums. This can be where bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build and attack your gums.
During scaling and root planing, a dentist or hygienist will clean under your gumline to remove any plaque or tartar that has attached to the roots of your teeth.
Care For Your Gums
Your gums play an important role in your oral health. Your gums protect your teeth and help to hold them in place.
Remember to brush, floss, and come to our dental office for regular cleanings and examinations if you live in or near Oregon City, OR. If you see signs of gum disease, call us to schedule your treatment as soon as possible.
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