Lusk Family Dentistry
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What is Periodontal Disease/Gum Disease?

February 25, 2021
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Posted By: Lusk Family Dentistry
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Imagine that you're brushing and flossing your teeth before settling in for the night. You notice that your gums are bleeding, and when you touch them, they feel tender. Since you're not in a lot of pain, it's very easy and tempting to turn off the lights and ignore this new information.

Unfortunately, oral health issues hardly ever resolve themselves without treatment or intervention. A few signs point to periodontal disease, which is infection and inflammation of your gums, hard and soft tissues, ligaments, and jawbone. By recognizing these signs, you can prevent gum disease from impacting your oral structure by seeing your general dentist immediately.

Gum disease is widespread and prevalent; almost half of American adults have periodontal disease. Ignoring your bleeding gums can put your smile at risk. 

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease is an infection that starts with your gums but can also eventually affect your teeth and jawbone. The early stages, known as gingivitis, are reversible with treatment. 

Once the infection sets in, it starts to impact surrounding gum tissue and bone that support your teeth. At this stage, it is known as periodontitis and can cause the gums to pull away from the tooth. This creates pockets that are perfect hiding places for bacteria. The consequences of gum disease can be severe and irreversible and may require professional intervention from your family dentistry in Kirtland, NM dentist.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Many factors can lead to gum disease, from poor oral hygiene to trauma and injury. When plaque isn't brushed or flossed away, it sticks to your enamel and starts eating away at it. Plaque can spread on the surface of every tooth and even below the gumline. Harmful bacteria within the plaque can cause inflammation and infection and eventually destroy tissue. 

Patients suffering from gum disease may notice that their teeth appear longer, but really their gums are receding and pulling away. Over time, gum disease often leads to tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Common signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Bleeding and swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain while eating
  • Constant bad breath

If you have any of these symptoms or notice anything unusual with your oral health, call a dentist near me at 87401. We will be able to examine your smile to look for signs of infection. 

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