Gum disease is more common than you might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 or older suffer from some form of gum disease. From what we see at the Yuba City Dentistry Group, we have to agree. The challenge with gum disease is that most of these individuals don’t even know they have it, because it’s painless in the early stages. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis – a severe form of gum disease that usually results in the loss of teeth and bone in your jaw. Fortunately, gum disease has symptoms that are easy to detect, if you know what to look for.
What is Gingivitis?
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, a result of plaque staying long enough to irritate the gum tissues. Gingivitis gives off early warning signals, such as:
- Recurring bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Receding gums, giving your teeth an elongated appearance
Preventing gingivitis is usually a two-part process. It’s kept at bay with good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Secondly, a thorough cleaning from the Yuba City Dentistry Group “wipes the slate clean” and starts bacteria back at “square one.” Keep up with cleanings at least twice a year for complete preventative maintenance. Eating and drinking healthy, as well as staying away from destructive habits like tobacco, keeps gingivitis from returning.
Nevertheless, sometimes we just don’t do what is recommended and plaque becomes tartar. This leads to gingivitis becoming periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. With this disease, the strength and safety of your teeth and jaw become a concern. Some symptoms of periodontitis are:
- Chronic bad breath
- Gums that have pulled further away from the teeth
- Changes in the position of your teeth, or your bite altogether
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
- Severe gum recession
With periodontitis, the irritation and damage are deeper below the gumline, where regular brushing and flossing cannot reach. Thankfully, the Yuba City Dentistry Group has specialized techniques, including cleaning options that can reach as far as the root of the teeth. At this advanced stage of gum disease, however, multiple treatments and visits are likely.
Gum disease can get past your notice if you do not pay attention to the signs! If you regularly fight a losing battle against gum disease, we recommend three or even four cleaning visits to the Yuba City Dentistry Group per year, instead of the traditional two. Many people come to appreciate the quicker, easier visits and better oral health reports that come from seeing us more regularly.
Please contact our dentist to discuss any of the above symptoms that you might have noticed.