Gum disease is progressive in nature and is often called a “silent disease” because it goes undetected until it is more advanced. We see many patients in our office who have gum disease in varying stages and are completely unaware of the damage it is causing. Keeping the gums healthy is important for your overall oral health and your physical health and wellness. Gum disease is still a leading cause of tooth loss and can create a range of complex problems for your dental health.
Gingivitis: what are the signs?
In the early stages, gum disease is often referred to as gingivitis. The gums or gingiva are becoming infected by bacteria that are often present in the mouth and have been able to take hold along the gum line. This may be due to oral health or medical conditions or a lack of dental care. The common signs or symptoms of gingivitis can include:
- Gums that bleed: have you noticed blood in the sink after brushing or flossing?
- Irritated gums: does it hurt to brush or floss or do you feel some discomfort around the gums when eating?
- Halitosis: do you have bad breath that just does not seem to go away?
- Pockets along the gum line: can you see more of your tooth roots? Does there appear to be a pocket between the gums and your teeth?
These symptoms often develop very gradually, making it easy to overlook them. If you notice any of these it is important to schedule a dental care visit. Prompt treatment of gingivitis can help you avoid periodontitis and permanent damage.
Routine Dental Care & Gum Health
Visiting the dentist regularly is a key element in lasting gum health. Our team will provide a screening for the signs of gum disease during routine dental exams. Maintaining your dental health by visiting with us twice a year can help you avoid gum disease. When spotted early during a routine exam we can often eliminate plaque and tartar buildup and allow the gums to heal. We may recommend anti-bacterial rinses at home to keep your gums healthy between visits if you are prone to disease. Our office provides comprehensive periodontal therapy for the symptoms of gum disease.
Routine dental care provides the opportunity for us to get to know you and understand any lifestyle habits or medical conditions that could be affecting gum health. With this knowledge, we can offer personalized advice and treatment. Our goal is always to help you avoid dental problems and enjoy a smile that is healthy and comfortable.