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Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

Facing the Facts About Gum Disease

Cavities and tooth decay are bad for your teeth. You’ve most likely heard this ever since you started brushing your teeth. But, there is an often overlooked disease that is just as bad or worse for your oral health! If you’ve been having issues with red, swollen or bleeding gums after brushing or flossing, you may be showing the very first signs of gum disease. Gum disease is very serious and progresses quickly. In order to protect your dental health from the dangers of gum disease, keep reading for information about how and why it develops and how you can prevent it.

How Does Gum Disease Impact Your Health?

Also referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease, gum disease causes serious problems with the gum tissue and the periodontal ligaments that attach your teeth to your jaw. Gum disease usually begins as gingivitis, which is a mild to moderate inflammation of the gums caused by exposure to plaque. Bacteria break down the food and liquids left behind in your mouth after you eat or drink. This produces an acidic and sticky film called plaque, which is responsible for causing cavities and can attack your gums and the interior structures of your mouth.

More than 75 percent of American adults will suffer from some form of gum disease. It makes treatment complicated that only 15 percent of those people will know they have the disease. The good news is that cases of gingivitis can be treated with help from a dentist and a good dental health care regimen. Somewhat more complicated is the treatment for advanced stages of gum disease, which generally results in lost teeth and irreversible damage.

If not treated during its earliest stages, gingivitis will eventually develop into periodontal disease. This condition is not as easily treated as gingivitis and can attack the ligaments and bone structure of the jaw, accelerating bone loss and reducing the ability of the gums, ligaments and jaw to hold teeth securely in place. If this occurs, patients may experience loosening of the teeth and even the loss of some teeth. Prompt attention to the first signs of gingivitis is essential to prevent this and other issues that are associated with advanced periodontal disease.

The Common Causes of Gum Disease

The most common cause of gum disease is a lack of high-quality dental care, at home and at the dentist office. Neglecting your oral health an lead to far more disastrous conditions than you would think. Additionally, genetic factors play a role in nearly 30 percent of all cases of periodontitis. Some other conditions that may play a role in the development of gum disease include the following:

  • Hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy, puberty, menopause and more. The fluctuations of the hormones cause an increase in gum sensitivity.
  • Medical conditions that lower the body’s ability to fight off infection such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and more.
  • Medicines that cause dry mouth. Saliva is responsible for rinsing the mouth of bacteria, and dry mouth prevents the saliva from doing its job properly.
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco. These products introduce toxins into the body that depress the body’s ability to fight off bacteria.
  • Failing to brush and floss regularly. As discussed above, you can never underestimate the power of a good dental care routine.

Seeking out affordable and effective care when you think you may be at risk for gum disease or have some of the symptoms listed below can help to ensure you get the best treatment quickly.

Symptoms of Gingivitis and Gum Disease

Some of the most common signs of gingivitis include the following:

  • Bleeding or pain in the gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Redness and inflammation around the gumline
  • Pockets of pus or infection under the gums
  • Severe bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth meet when biting

Other Types of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis turns into periodontal disease, and this is a place where you don’t want to find yourself. At this stage your gums have pulled away from the teeth, plaque is causing irritation and swelling underneath the gums, and the teeth and jawbone are deteriorating as the plaque is allowed to keep proliferating. It’s not a pretty sight, and it feels even worse.

The good news is that if caught early enough, the treatments offered by qualified dentists can help you to reverse the initial stages of gingivitis to help you keep your natural teeth longer.

When you get periodontitis, there are several forms of it you can develop, depending on your risk factors:

  • Necrotizing periodontitis is perhaps the most alarming. It leads to the death of the periodontal ligaments, the gums, the teeth and the bone. This happens to people whose immune systems are otherwise compromised.
  • Chronic periodontitis is the most common among patients. This leads to the slow loss of attachment and the continued inflammation of the gum tissue.
  • Aggressive periodontitis, as its name suggests, produces negative results much more quickly than the chronic form of this disease. It usually affects healthy individuals and causes rapid deterioration of the tissues and bone structures inside the mouth and jaw.
    The Right Regimen for Preventing Gum Disease

You’ll find that most dentists have the same recommendations for preventing gum disease. For instance, it’s highly recommended that you:

  • Brush your teeth after each meal and floss once or twice daily.
  • If you must snack between meals, try to choose low-sugar and low-starch options. You should consider choosing whole foods and avoiding sugar and processed foods.
  • You can also rinse your mouth with water or with a recommended mouthwash to eliminate some or all of the bacteria before they can form plaque to cause issues with your teeth and gums.
  • Choose ADA-approved toothpastes and mouthwashes.

If you need dental care in Peoria, call today to make an appointment with the dental professionals at Maple Shade Dental Group. Our team of dedicated dentists will work with you to provide affordable and practical care for your entire family. We are here to serve all your dental care needs now and for the future.

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