The Perils of Gum Disease - TLC Dental
One of the first signs of gum disease is when your gums bleed during brushing, yet few people take note or concern when they see a little “pink in the sink” when rinsing out their mouth after brushing.
And yet, gum disease is a serious issue that needs to be treated as soon as possible to avoid further complications such as the development of periodontal disease, and even eventual tooth loss.
The initial cause of gum disease normally stems from bacteria in the mouth— both the good and the bad. When debris becomes trapped in your mouth, and a good old-fashioned brushing can’t reach it, bad bacteria begin to fester in the debris before spreading to your gums.
The good bacteria of your immune system responds, but the ensuing battle of bacteria further weakens the area, causing inflammation and damaging the bone and surrounding tissues that hold your teeth in place.
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Gum disease does not develop overnight. It starts as gingivitis and then worsens as bacteria build up in your mouth. Gingivitis may also be accompanied by inflammation or discolouration of the gums around your teeth.
Gum disease often comes from bacteria protected by plaque built up along your teeth and gum line. Left undisturbed, this plaque can harden into tartar, which cannot be removed through traditional brushing and flossing routines.
Following the bleeding of gums and buildup of plaque, those with gum disease may notice symptoms including:
- Halitosis (Chronic Bad Breath)
- Loosening or Separating Teeth
- Mouth Sores
- Noticeable Bite Change
- Painful Chewing
- Receding Gumline
- Temperature Sensitivity in Teeth
- Tender, Red, or Swollen Gums
- White Spots or Plaque on Gums
If you notice any of these signs during your daily routine, give TLC Dental a call. Our caring staff will immediately schedule you to see our licensed dentist for an exam. If your dentist is able to confirm the gum disease as the culprit, he will work closely with you to determine the best course of action to help restore your oral health.
Other Contributing Factors
While bacteria buildup and plaque are often the main contributors to gum disease, other factors should also be considered such as:
- Chronic Illness — Cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions can lead to issues with oral health. In the case of diabetes, the inability to properly process sugar can lead to excess cavities, which in turn can lead to debris and bacteria contributing to gum disease.
- Genetics — poor oral health in your family can also result in poor oral health for you. If your family has a history of dental issues, it’s even more essential that you regularly visit a dentist.
- Hormones — Pregnancy, menstrual cycles, puberty, hormone medications, and other hormonal changes can contribute to tender gums, making you susceptible to gum disease.
- Medications — aside from the side-effects of hormone medications, these and other medicines can decrease the amount of saliva your mouth produces or increase the growth of gum tissue.
- Poor Oral Hygiene — if you don’t follow a daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, then your mouth will be more vulnerable to bacterial buildup and plaque.
- Tobacco — smoking and dipping can lead to a buildup of plaque and toxins; it can also stain your teeth, making it more difficult to tell when buildup is bacterial instead of discolouration.
Between dental visits, you can take steps to help prevent gum disease. Proper eating habits, hydration, and good oral hygiene can go a long way in preventing gum disease. Regular dental exams and cleanings can prevent or reverse gum disease, as well. The team at TLC Dental is always willing to discuss preventative dentistry and gum disease treatment.
How We Treat Gum Disease
At TLC Dental, we want to help you formulate a plan to save your mouth from the perils of gum and periodontal disease. Every patient’s situation is unique, so our licensed dentist will work closely with you to create a treatment path specific to your needs. We’ll also make sure you have the tools and resources available to maintain your oral health.