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Gum Disease and Periodontal Health


Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a progressive oral health condition. When it first begins, it is practically undetectable. Plaque and bacteria that have built up in the mouth irritate the gums, causing inflammation. Gums appear red and swollen and often bleed when you brush and floss. The longer the disease goes untreated, the worse it becomes. The gums pull away from your teeth, allowing bacteria to fall below the gum line. The bacteria begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and jawbone, causing these structures to weaken. Ultimately, untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss.



Do I Have Gum Disease?


Are you worried you might have gum disease? While the earliest symptoms (such as red swollen gums) are often unnoticed, gum disease exhibits other symptoms as it progresses. Symptoms of gum disease include:
•  Gum recession.
•  The appearance of small spaces between your teeth.
•  Tooth sensitivity, which is the result of root exposure.
•  An increase in tooth decay and cavities.
•  Chronic bad breath.
•  Loose teeth and alignment issues.

What Causes Gum Disease?


There are several causes of gum disease. The most common cause is poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush and floss regularly, or have your teeth cleaned and examined regularly, you are at a greater risk for plaque and bacterial build up. Other causes of gum disease include
•  Misaligned teeth.
•  Cigarette smoking and the use of other tobacco products.
•  Dry mouth, which can be caused by alcohol use, certain types of medications, and certain health conditions.

How is Gum Disease Treated?


Treating gum disease is essential for stopping its progression and enabling your mouth to begin healing. The exact treatment you receive depends significantly upon how advanced your gum disease is. Common treatments for gum disease include
•  Scaling and root planing.
•  Periodontal maintenance.
•  Pocket reduction surgery.
•  Gum flap surgery.
•  Soft tissue grafting.
•  Bone-grafting.

How can I Prevent Gum Disease?


It is important that you brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. You should also have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. In addition to your oral hygiene, there are several foods that you can eat that can promote your periodontal health. Foods good for your gums include dairy products, dark leafy greens, and crunchy fruits and vegetables. Treating gum disease is essential for restoring your periodontal health. However, it is essential that you take care of your mouth to prevent gum disease from reoccurring.

Why do I Need Healthy Gums?


Your gums play several important roles in your mouth, and if you ignore existing gum disease, it can have serious ramifications to your health. The gum tissue sits snugly against the necks of your teeth, providing a tight seal that prevents bacteria and other debris from reaching the tooth roots and your jawbone. Your gum tissue aids in providing additional stability for your teeth, helping to keep them in proper alignment. The gums also play an integral role in the quality of your smile.

Questions About Gum Disease?


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the health of your gums, or you suspect that you might have gum disease, call Acree & Isenhower Family Dentistry at (209) 531-9003 today. When most people think about a healthy mouth, they often think only about the teeth. While your teeth are a critical component of your mouth, and taking care of them is essential for keeping them strong and preventing serious oral health issues, they are not the only the only one. Your gums also play an important role in a healthy, happy, beautiful mouth. Maintaining your periodontal health is critical for ensuring that your gums function properly. Acree & Isenhower Family Dentistry is here to help.
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