Nearly half of Americans suffer from gum disease, which can cause major dental concerns. Yet, many of the early signs of gum disease may not become obvious until it has developed into periodontal disease. This is why it is important to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. At Northwest Arkansas Family Dentistry, we take preventive care seriously and do our best to help our patients maintain their oral health before problems start.
Gum disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, and illness. When bacteria and plaque begin to build-up on your teeth and isn’t removed regularly by brushing and flossing, it can start to push its way between your teeth and gums causing them to become irritated and inflamed. Eventually, if gum disease isn’t treated, it will start to eat away at the gum line and jaw bone, causing irreparable damage to your oral health.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums – Though bleeding doesn’t always mean that you have gum disease, it is one of the first symptoms. Those who have poor oral hygiene and don’t brush or floss often will experience bleeding for a few days. If bleeding doesn’t stop after a week of regular brushing and flossing, you should see your dentist right away.
- Bad breath – When people don’t floss regularly, food particles can get stuck between teeth without being removed and start to cause bad breath. Chronic bad breath even after brushing is one of the main signs that you have gum disease.
- Swollen gums – As plaque and bacteria move deeper between your teeth and gums, it will cause your gums to swell and become inflamed. If the swelling doesn’t go down after a week of regular brushing and flossing, you should see your dentist.
- Receding gums – Once gums begin to recede, you have developed periodontal disease. It is impossible for the gums to grow back, so the earlier periodontal disease is caught and treated the better it will be for your oral health.
- Loose teeth – Due to receding gums and bone loss, teeth may start to become loose and fall out if periodontal disease isn’t treated.
Treating Gum Disease
There are several ways to treat gum disease, but the best way is to brush and floss daily and see your dentist regularly. If you live in the Fayetteville, AR area and would like to learn more about gum disease, its symptoms and how to treat it, please contact our office today!