Research tells us that about 80% of Americans have some level of gum disease ranging from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis. Severe gum disease causes bone deterioration and tooth loss. Gum disease is, in fact, the main cause of adult tooth loss in our nation. A dentist or hygienist can diagnose gum disease, but symptoms are sometimes so mild, patients overlook the condition. However, gum disease is a chronic condition. It will only worsen if left untreated.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Clinically known as periodontal disease, gum disease usually results from plaque and tartar buildup at the gumline. It is a bacterial infection in
which bad oral bacteria erode the connective tissues between gums and teeth. As the condition becomes more severe, pouches of infection, called periodontal pockets, form at the base of teeth (between the jawbone and gum tissues) and bacteria thrive in this warm, wet, dark environment.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Without intervention by a dental hygienist, dentist, or periodontist, the periodontal bacteria will spread and cause symptoms including:
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Pus at the gumline
- Halitosis (chronic bad breath)
- Teeth loosening or loss
- Jawbone deterioration
- Abscesses (severe localized infections)
Furthermore, gum disease is linked to an increased risk for serious overall health conditions ranging from low-weight birth weight in babies to diabetes to strokes to arthritis to heart disease.
Gum Disease Intervention
Gum disease is not a curable condition, but it can be treated quite well if the infection is caught at the earliest stages. Gingivitis may require nothing more than ramping up your dental hygiene efforts and going in for dental cleanings more often. Once the disease progresses, a treatment plan might include scaling and root planning, therapeutic mouthwash, and surgery in some very severe cases.
About Dr. Cabal
Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist whose lifelong passion for providing exceptional dental care continues to this day as he serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment to discuss invisible braces at our Ft. Worth orthodontist office, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.