What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. It is also the major cause of 70% of adult tooth loss. Gum disease affects three out of four people at some point in their life.
What causes gum disease?
Bacterial plaque – a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth – is recognized as the primary cause of gum disease. If plaque is not removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called calculus (also known as tarter). Toxins (poisons) produced and released by bacteria in plaque then irritate the gums. These toxins cause the breakdown of the fibers that hold the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets that fill with even more toxins and bacteria. As the disease progresses, pockets extend deeper and the bacteria move down until the bone that holds the tooth in place is destroyed. The tooth will eventually fall out or require extraction.
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
Signs include red, swollen, or tender gums; gums that bleed while brushing or flossing; gums that pull away from teeth; lose or separating teeth; persistent bad breath; a change in the way teeth fit together when you bite; and a change in the fit of partial dentures. While patients are advised to check for the warning signs, there might not be any discomfort until the disease has spread to a point where the tooth is unsalvageable. That is why patients are advised to visit our dentist for frequent dental exams.
How to prevent gum disease?
Removing plaque through daily brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning is the best way to minimize your risk. Dr. Stephen Huber can design a personalized program to meet your needs.
If you would like additional information on gum disease and gum disease treatment in Leawood, Kansas, we invite you to contact our office today at 913-543-3751 and talk with our friendly team.