Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is caused by germs in your mouth. At first the germs will infect the gums only. At this stage it is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is an infection of the gums only. This may cause the gums to become red and swollen and may sometimes lead to bleeding during tooth brushing. Over time if the gingivitis or gum disease is left untreated, then the infection goes deeper and infects the bone around the teeth. At this stage it is called periodontitis.
In most cases people do not realize that they have the infection because it does not hurt. By the time it does hurt, it is usually too late to save the teeth because they become loose and may even fall out. It is best to catch the infection as soon as possible so you can keep your teeth for a lifetime. There is a Mayo Clinic study that found that people with all of their teeth live an average of 10 years longer!
Symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth
- Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
- Tender gums when touched
- Swollen gums
- Mouth sores
- A shiny appearance to gums
- Loose teeth
Factors that increase periodontal disease include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Diabetes or heart disease
- Crooked teeth
- Some types of medication such as steroids
- Hormonal changes in women, such as pregnancy or menopause.
When gum disease develops, the body deposits a mineral layer underneath the gums called tartar. Tartar causes the gums to become swollen. The first step in treating the gum disease is to remove this layer of tartar.
We can help you battle gum disease with…
- Cleanings for gum disease – to stop its progression, help the gums heal, and improve bone health
- Deep Cleaning and Root Scaling – special cleaning that is focused on areas where gum disease is NOT improving, getting worse or has never been treated. This is a very thorough cleaning below the gums where disease has caused inflammation of tartar to build up on the roots of the teeth.
- Computerized evaluations of the gum disease areas every cleaning to make sure you are improving and NOT getting worse
If you have gum disease or any of these symptoms, call us at 810-735-9426 for an appointment or contact our office today for more information.