Gum diseases are the major cause of tooth loss
Our Periodontists can help detect any early signs of gum disease and problems in the hard-to-see gum areas. They can treat, control and prevent gum infections and help protect and preserve your teeth which will contribute toward your overall good health.
Gum Disease (also known as Periodontitis) is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding the tooth, and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of the tissues in the mouth and potential cause of gum disease. Once gum disease sets in, the toxins produced by the bacteria damage the teeth's connective tissue and bone, effectively destroying them and fostering tooth loss.
Effective gum care helps prevent bad breath and losing teeth at an early age. It also helps protect you from dental problems between the teeth and under the gums.
Common signs of gum disease
Bleeding gums during tooth brushing or flossing
Gums are turning from pink to red
Swollen, sensitive gums
Gums have pulled away from the teeth
Teeth are loose or changing position
Any change in the bite
Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Constant bad breath or taste
Gum inflammations and infections
Gum inflammations and infections are a result of bacteria penetrating deep below the gum surface. If bacteria are permitted to increase for long periods of time, plaque is formed fostering more bacterial growth. They irritate the gums making them tender, inflamed and likely to bleed. Gum tissue and bones which hold the teeth in place are affected and can cause tooth loss.
As a gum infection progresses, the bone tends to recede. In some cases, the root of the tooth becomes exposed, occasionally causing tooth sensitivity. In advanced cases, pus may be produced causing pockets between the gum and tooth.
Since bone recession is not visible, it is often left undetected by the naked eye and may contribute to tooth loss.
It is important to visit the dentist for professional examinations and dental cleanings to identify gum disease.
Major Causes of Gum Disease
Improper Dental Hygiene : If plaque is not removed through daily dental hygiene practices and regular professional dental cleanings, bacteria may set in and cause gingivitis, which may eventually result in gum disease.
Organic Changes in the Mouth : Changes that occur in metabolism and hormone levels during pregnancy, puberty and menopause may affect the organic balance in the mouth, and make teeth more susceptible to gum disease.
Medical Conditions : Serious conditions that affect the body's ability to produce sugar (such as diabetes or kidney disease) may contribute to periodontal disease. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control has found
an association between certain illnesses (including diabetes, stroke and heart attack) and gum disease.
Finally, medications used to treat medical conditions may produce the overgrowth of gums. Overgrown gums
are more susceptible to bacteria, and therefore gum disease.
Saliva Flow Inhibitors : Certain medications that produce oral side effects or dry mouth syndrome (xerostoma) may contribute to a reduction of protective saliva flow, and potentially to gum disease. Seniors may be more susceptible to dry mouth syndrome because of the natural reduction of salivary flow associated with age.
Poor Functional Habits : Teeth grinding or clenching may impair the surrounding tissue and is a possible contributor to gum disease.