January 20, 2018
Your gums have been bleeding during brushing, and lately they have appeared to be red and swollen. You’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. You’re not sure how this happened, or what causes gum disease? But now that you are among the half of American adults that gum disease affects, you’d like some answers.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Essentially an infection of your gums and jawbone, gum disease occurs when excessive plaque buildup causes your gums to separate from your teeth. This allows the bacteria that causes your infection below the gum line where it attacks your jawbone. If it’s left untreated, gum disease will result in tooth loss, which is why it’s the leading cause of tooth loss for adults over the age of thirty.
The Signs, Symptoms, and Causes
Gum disease is often tricky to diagnose on your own because there aren’t too many symptoms or much pain at first. Some of the early signs of gingivitis may include:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
- Chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Gums that appear red, swollen, or irritated
The causes of gum disease vary with each patient. Some things to be aware of are:
- Poor oral hygiene: Your brushing and flossing routine is an important tool to keep gum disease at bay. Make sure you’re utilizing the correct techniques to make the most of your home care routine.
- Tobacco use: Smoking may not directly cause gum disease, but it definitely contributes to it and makes the healing process more difficult and less effective.
- Certain medications: Some medications can cause dry mouth, which makes you more susceptible to gum disease.
Prevention and Treatment
Did you know that gum disease can easily be prevented? It’s true! With consistent visits to your dentist for cleaning and checkups gingivitis can be detected in its earliest stages, and often effectively managed with a thorough professional cleaning and improvements to your home care routine.
Periodontitis, or the advanced stage of gum disease will require a deeper cleaning called scaling and root planing that reaches below the gum line to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. Your dentist may also recommend antibiotic therapy and sometimes surgery in more severe cases.
If you suspect you may be suffering from gingivitis, or if it’s time for your next cleaning, give your dentist in Fremont a call today to schedule your next appointment.
About James Block Dentistry
At James Block Dentistry, patients will find high quality dentistry in a laid back and comfortable atmosphere. Dr. James Block has been taking care of patients in Fremont, CA for over 25 years, and he strives to make every patient experience at his office exceptional whether you’re having your next cleaning, or a more complex procedure.
If you would like to contact Dr. Block, he can be reached online through his website or by calling 510-793-0801.
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