Gum Disease

Gum Disease - What Is It?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, refers to an infection affecting the tissues and bone supporting your teeth.

Surprising fact: Around 85% of adults in the United States experience some level of gum disease, making it one of the most widespread health issues in the country—more prevalent than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

Stages of Gum Disease

Early Stage - Gingivitis

The earliest stage of gum disease begins when plaque starts piling up on your teeth. Then, thanks to the calcium in your saliva, the plaque toughens up into something called tartar, or calculus.

The not-so-great part… The germs living in this plaque and calculus affect your gum tissue. In response, your body goes into overdrive, launching an inflammatory attack and sending in white blood cells to wipe out the bacteria, causing your gums to bleed when you brush and floss.

Advanced Stage - Periodontitis

Left untreated, gum disease progresses into what’s called periodontitis. When this happens, calculus deposits don't just stay on the surface—they venture below your gum line. This separation causes the formation of periodontal pockets, where the gums pull away a bit from the teeth, supporting bone, and ligament.

As this condition persists, the infection and those pockets may deepen, gradually eroding the jawbone. The results of untreated periodontitis can result in loose teeth or, unfortunately, tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease can present with any number of symptoms… or no symptoms at all! If you suffer from any of the following, give us a call right away so we can conduct an examination to determine and treat your symptoms before they become too severe.

Pain when chewing

Sensitive teeth or gums

Swollen and/or bleeding gums

Gaps between teeth and gums

Bad breath

Loose teeth

Receding gums

Risk Factors

Not surprisingly, the leading cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene. That’s why brushing and flossing every day is vital in removing plaque buildup and reducing the inflammation in your gums. However, this is not the only risk factor.

Chronic gingivitis is a common issue for young children.
Thanks to hormonal shifts, adolescents often face heightened gum sensitivity, potentially affecting their oral care habits.
Family History
If gum disease is a family affair, with 30% of Americans having a susceptibility, you should be on high alert.
Gum disease can be passed along through personal connections, like kissing or sharing items such as utensils, toothbrushes, or straws.
Some medications come with the unwanted side effect of gum disease, so always read those warning labels.
Health Conditions
Keep an eye on your teeth and gums if you're dealing with systemic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, or heart disease—they've been linked to an increased risk of gum disease.

Treatment Options

We offer a variety of effective treatments for gum disease, ranging from laser procedures to surgical procedures, and more. If you suspect you may have gum disease, don't hesitate—book an appointment with our office to explore and discuss the best treatment options based on your needs.

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Our friendly team is ready to help.