What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the most prevalent disease in the oral cavity and is responsible for more tooth loss than cavities. There are two main types of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, while periodontitis is an inflammation of the bone and supporting structures that help anchor the teeth in your mouth. Periodontal (gum) diseases, which include gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
According to the CDC, almost 50% of US adults age 30 and over have some form of periodontal disease. They also estimate that 70% of US adults over age 65 have some form of periodontal disease. Research has also shown that gum disease is associated with other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What makes the disease especially difficult is those affected usually do not know they have the disease, because gum disease is one of the silent diseases (think high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels). This means that you may have no pain from this disease, but if left untreated, it can become a serious problem and you may lose your teeth. The main warning signs often are noticeable by patients only when the disease has progressed to stages which are difficult to treat.
Periodontal disease can affect just a single tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in the saliva forms plaque around the teeth, which causes the gums to become inflamed. In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
If left untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. The bacteria in plaque release toxins (poisons), which cause the gums to separate from the teeth thus promoting bone loss, thereby forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed. The most important factor of this disease is that it is preventable and treatable.
What are Some Warning Signs?
Modern Dental Cape Coral will be able to review and individually go over all of your concerns, but there are some warning sign questions which if answered yes, may indicate a risk
- Have any of your teeth moved?
- Are any teeth loose?
- Have you experienced bad breath?
- Have you noticed spaces developing in between teeth?
- Do you have gum recession or sensitive teeth?
- Does food get caught in between your teeth?
- Do you use tobacco – smoking or smokeless tobacco?
- Are you pregnant or plan to become pregnant?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Are your parents missing any teeth?
- Do your teeth appear longer than they used to?
- Do you have a history of heart disease?
- Are your teeth crowded?
These are just some of the questions you want to consider on determining risk factor.
What are the Overall Health Dangers of Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease has been linked to many medical health conditions which may make them more difficult to control including but not limited to
- Cardiovascular disease
- Low birth weight/premature babies
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Lung disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Gregory A. Pette Today. Call us at (239) 610-6200
Modern Dental Cape Coral in Cape Coral, FL uses the most innovative and up to date technologies to provide our patients with the best possible periodontal care. Dr. Gregory A. Pette serves patients located in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Pine Island, Lehigh Acres, Estero, Bonita Springs & surrounding areas.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to our office and encourage you to schedule your appointment today!
We know visiting a Dentist or Periodontist may not have been the first thing on your mind, but having a beautiful and healthy smile to match your other features is important. We are here to guide you in the process to have healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule a healthy smile consultation. We look forward to meeting you.