Common Questions About Gum Disease
If your dentist diagnoses you with gum disease, you may have questions. Take a look at some of the most common questions asked about gum disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue. It occurs when plaque, a soft, sticky film containing bacteria, builds up on your teeth. This infection, if left untreated, can cause damage to your gums and tooth loss. Additionally, if the infection enters your bloodstream, it can cause infections in other parts of your body, potentially damaging your heart and other vital organs.
Are bleeding gums while brushing normal?
No, bleeding gums while brushing is not normal. In fact, this is one of the first signs you may see if you have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
What causes gum disease?
There are many things that may lead to gum disease. Here are the most common:
- Bad Oral Hygiene Habits
The leading cause of gum disease is bad oral hygiene. Not brushing twice per day. Not brushing with the proper technique. Not flossing each day. When you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, you give plaque and bacteria the chance to collect on your teeth. In turn, these bacteria infect your gums and you are soon experiencing Stage 1 of gum disease – gingivitis.
- Use of Tobacco/Smoking
You know that tobacco and smoking can be contributing factors to cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and many other health problems, but did you know that it also puts you at risk for gum disease? Quitting smoking can have many positive effects on your health, including your oral health.
- Hormonal Changes in Girls/Women
The hormonal changes that girls/women experience such as puberty, pregnancy, and/or menopause can make gums more sensitive and more prone to gingivitis.
You know that stress can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Stress can cause headaches, sleep problems and fatigue. And yes, stress can also contribute to gum disease. Stress makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection.
If your diet does not contain enough calcium and Vitamin C this can also contribute to gum disease. Calcium is important for bone density and Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which can help you maintain healthy gums.
There are certain medications that can affect your oral health. Be sure that all of your health care providers are aware of any medications that you are taking so that they can keep an eye on your overall health.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
The most common symptoms are:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Pus around the teeth and gums
- Sensitive teeth
Why do I need to see a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist, but he/she is a specialized dentist. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease (gum disease) and the placement of dental implants. Your dentist may recommend your visit one in order to obtain the best possible treatment for gum disease.
Why do I need to worry about gum disease?
Your gums act as a shield against bacteria. If your gums are not healthy, bacteria can enter the body and cause inflammation and infections. This bacteria that enters through plaque buildup on your gums cause periodontal disease (gum disease) and can manifest itself with a variety of symptoms. In turn, gum disease has been linked to other serious health issues.
Is gum disease reversible?
Periodontal disease is preventable and, when detected early, damage can be reversed. Regular visits to your dentist are important, as is proper flossing and brushing. Daily flossing and brushing are your first defense against gum disease. Perfect Smile Oral Care products can be used to help prevent gum disease. Perfect Smile Oral Care products contain Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin C that has been clinically proven to help prevent or reverse the effects of gum disease. If used regularly, these products can help maintain good gum health by strengthening your gum tissue.
If you have additional questions about gum disease be sure to talk with your dentist. He/she will take the time to answer any of your questions and set you up with a proper treatment plan.