Over 47% of adults older than 30 have some level of gum disease, and that figure climbs above 70% for seniors. Bacteria in the mouth leads to the formation of plaque and tartar, which can spread below the gum line, potentially leading to tooth loss if left untreated.
Ignoring the signs of gum disease assures a one-way journey into a decline of oral health. It’s not something that you can simply brush and floss away. Only a dental office cleaning will clear away all signs of gum disease and the pockets of bacteria that cause it. And even then, the bacteria resume their assault anew.
Book a visit to Global Facial Aesthetics if you encounter the signs of gum disease to improve your dental hygiene. Maintaining a regular schedule of office visits combined with diligent home care assures your dental cleanings go smoothly.
The bacterial issue
Your mouth is the primary entrance point of your body, and it’s a pretty busy place. Bacteria naturally dwell there, feasting on sugars and starches from the foods you eat and forming a sticky substance called plaque. That’s what you’re attacking when you brush and floss at home.
At or under your gum line, plaque can harden into tartar. Once that conversion happens, you need a dental cleaning since tartar can’t be removed through home brushing and flossing. Furthermore, the longer tartar is in place, and the deeper it gets below the gum line, the more damage it causes.
That starts the gum disease cycle, first with gingivitis — the mild form of the disease — before developing into periodontitis. Deep infections associated with periodontitis can erode tissue and bone, leading to inflammation, tooth loss, and extra strain on your immune system.
Common signs of gum disease
Changes to your gums are usually the first noticeable sign of gum disease. Normally firm and pink, gums become puffy and red as gum disease takes hold. You might see blood when you brush or floss, and it happens more frequently as gingivitis advances. Your toothbrush may appear pink, and the rinse water may show obvious signs of bleeding.
Later, they can turn bright red, dark red, or purple, remaining puffy and possibly tender when you touch them. Halitosis, or bad breath, is usually a sign that gingivitis is advancing, and you may experience a constant, dull ache in your gums.
As gingivitis becomes periodontitis, chewing could become painful. Pus may ooze from between the teeth and gums. Teeth may become loose, or they may move, introducing new gaps and spaces between teeth. Your bite alignment may change, causing uneven tooth wear. You may notice that your gums start to recede, making your teeth appear longer.
The process can advance to this stage between six-month check-ups, so regular dentist visits keep gum disease in check. Contact Global Facial Aesthetics by phone if you’re overdue for your next check-up and cleaning. You can stop gum disease now, so book your appointment immediately.