Do I have gum disease?

Gum disease sounds pretty scary, and it can be serious. If you're starting to see a little bleeding on your toothbrush, this is the first sign that your probably need to start taking a good look at how well you're caring for your gums. The good news is that with proper dental care, gum disease can be prevented, or cured completely.

Early Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is noted by bleeding gums. If it’s not addressed, it can lead to periodontal disease – or even gum cancer.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Excessive plaque and bacteria in your mouth cause gum disease. Bacteria build up on plaque, and then attack the bone and tissue in your mouth. This can cause your gums to get red and swollen, and bleed when you brush or floss. Once your gums are inflamed, this gives the bacteria easy access to your bloodstream. Once the bacteria travel throughout your body they can cause a myriad of health issues.

At our West Michigan dentist office, we identify and treat gum disease when our patients notice the following symptoms: gums beginning to pull away from teeth, bleeding during brushing, persistent bad breath, changes in how teeth fit together when biting down and teeth that feel loose. All of these changes can be influenced by hormonal changes, certain illnesses, family history, certain medications and overall oral hygiene habits.

Treatment of Gum Disease

The cure for gum disease depends on how far the disease has progressed and your current overall health. The early stage, known as gingivitis, is reversible with attentive care for your teeth. Advanced stages may require further treatment that may involve using antibiotics and more advanced treatments to reduce or temporarily eliminate bacteria associated with periodontal disease. Some studies suggest that vitamin C and flavonoids may strengthen connective tissue in the gums and decrease inflammation. However, in the end, no gum disease cure will work without consistent dental visits and daily good oral hygiene habits.

With regular visits to your dentist, and proactively caring for your teeth and gums you can prevent the expense and hassle of treating gum disease, and experience a lifetime of strong teeth and healthy gums.

For more information on how you can treat and prevent gum disease, contact Your West Michigan Dentist.

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