• A Few Signs You Might Have Gum Disease

  • Milk is a great alternative to all those sweet drinks so prevalent during Christmas. Don't forget to take care of your adult teeth, too.

    Milk is a great alternative to all those sweet drinks so prevalent during Christmas. Don’t forget to take care of your adult teeth, too.

    We know this isn’t really a happy holiday post, but even though we are celebrating the Christmas season, we still need to remember the health of our mouth.

    Periodontitis, usually called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end, if not treated, with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.  Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs.

    Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums which usually precedes gum disease. If Gingivitis is left untreated, this inflammation can become periodontitis. This is where the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These spaces between teeth and gums collect food particles and can become infected.

    According to WEB MD, the body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Toxins or poisons, produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body’s “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections, start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.

    As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

    Look out for these common symptoms:

    • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
    • Red, swollen, or tender gums
    • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
    • Receding gums
    • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
    • Loose or shifting teeth
    • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures

     

    Often people don’t notice any symptoms but they will still have some degree of gum disease.  In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars.

    Gum disease can be reversed in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced.

    These practices include:

    • Professional cleanings
    • Daily brushing
    • Daily flossing.

    Columbia Orthodontics can help you if you feel there is any gingivitis or problems with your teeth.