Don’t Let Gum Disease Ruin Your Smile
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it is often reversible. It begins with overgrowth of bacteria due to plaque buildup, and it may progress to periodontitis if not addressed. Once the disease advances to the inner layers of the gum, the tissues begin to pull away from the teeth and form small pockets that collect more bacteria and food particles. These quickly become infected. Toxins from the bacteria eventually break down the bone and connective tissue that holds teeth in place, which leads to loosening of the teeth and eventual tooth loss.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
While dental plaque is the primary cause of most cases, the following factors may also contribute to periodontal disease:
- Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause
- Illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, HIV, and other immune problems
- Certain medications such as Dilantin, Procardia, and Adalat
- Poor oral hygiene
- A family history of dental disease
Common Symptoms of Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Symptoms of periodontal disease can be subtle and may go unnoticed, but the following are clear warning signs.
- Bleeding gums, especially after brushing
- Receding gums
- Red, inflamed, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- The presence of pockets between gums and teeth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in bite
- Changes in the way partial dentures fit
How Gum Disease is Diagnosed and Treated. Your dentist in South Philadelphia will check for signs of diseased gums during a comprehensive exam. Treatment depends on the stage and severity of the disease. It may include special cleaning instructions or products, medicated mouth rinses, or surgery to restore supportive gum tissues.
Your Gums May Affect Your General Health. Researchers have discovered links between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and low birth weight.
Prevention is Key. See your dentist and dental hygienist regularly. Early stages of gum disease are reversible. The following recommendations can help decrease your risk of gum deterioration and the rate of its progression.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Manage tooth-grinding problems.
- Practice strict oral hygiene; brush twice daily and floss every day.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in South Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental at Oregon Avenue today at (215) 310-5817 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in South Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental at Oregon Avenue, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental at Oregon Avenue.