Maintaining oral health begins with caring for your gums. When gum tissue is not healthy and strong, your whole smile will suffer as a result. Today, our Dallas dentists are talking about how gum disease develops, how you can recognize it, and why it is so harmful. Let’s get started!
Why does gum disease develop?
Just like cavities, gum disease develops due to harmful oral bacteria. We all have bacteria in our mouths all the time. The more sugars and refined carbohydrates we consume, the strong oral bacteria become (they use these substances as fuel). When we fail to clean our mouths of plaque and tartar, we also make it more likely that we’ll develop oral infections.
How do I spot gum disease?
Gum disease can be asymptomatic when it first develops. However, as the infection gets more severe you may notice unwanted symptoms including:
- Swollen gum tissue
- Bleeding gums
- Hard-to-treat bad breath
- Periodontal pockets (this occurs when gum tissue pulls away from the teeth)
- Unstable teeth
The key is to pay attention to any changes that you notice with your oral health. If your gums look redder than usual, or if you know you are experiencing increased gum sensitivity, you should reach out to your dental team for an oral health assessment. If left untreated, gum disease will become more severe periodontal disease. The infection may even spread to your jawbone and the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place.
How can I treat gum disease?
The primary goal of gum disease treatment is to minimize bacterial growth, while promoting your immune system’s ability to heal your tissues. Treatment modalities vary depending on the severity of the infection. Our team may recommend that you super-charge your at-home oral hygiene routine by using specific tools, toothpastes, or mouth rinses. Many people with periodontal disease also benefit from frequent professional cleanings.
If your gum tissue has deteriorated due to infection, you may require gum grafts to repair and build up lost tissue.
Our Dallas gum disease dentists are happy to answer any questions you may have, and to get you started on your way to optimal oral health. We look forward to speaking with you!