Studies show that more than 75% of all adults suffer from some form of gum disease—unfortunately, only 60% of them seek treatment from their dentists or orthodontists. Learn how to maintain your oral health by considering these signs and symptoms of gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, teeth, and supporting bone structures. There are two forms of gum disease, including:
- Gingivitis: The mildest form of periodontal disease, gingivitis is usually caused by excessive plaque buildup and inadequate oral hygiene. However, gingivitis is completely reversible with good home care and professional dental treatments.
- Periodontitis: As plaque spreads below the gum line, the toxins produced by the bacteria stimulate a chronic inflammatory response that breaks down the gum tissues and supporting teeth. Untreated periodontitis can lead to aggressive periodontitis, chronic periodontitis, and necrotizing periodontal disease.
As your dentist will tell you, periodontal disease is typically caused by poor oral hygiene, but there are several risk factors that may increase your susceptibility, such as:
- Tobacco use.
- Certain medications.
- Hormonal changes.
- Autoimmune diseases.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of gum disease will vary based on the level of progression; however, the most common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums.
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating.
- Receding gums.
- Loose or separating teeth.
- Pus between teeth and gums.
- Change in bite.
- Persistent bad breath.
It is important to remember that individuals suffering from mild gum disease may not show any symptoms during the early stages, making it crucial to schedule routine dental cleanings with your dentist every six months.
Here at the Smile Studio, our cosmetic dentists and periodontists are specially trained to meet all of your dental needs. Call (212) 688-3838 for more information on our periodontal treatments, dental implants, or to locate a NYC office near you.