Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, affects nearly half of the American population. And the scary part is, many sufferers are completely unaware they have the disease. A common misconception about gum disease is that if there are no signs or symptoms, then it must be harmless. This is a dangerous idea that could not be further from the truth. Gum disease not only affects the health of your gums and mouth, but can lead to dangerous systemic complications in the rest of the body.
What happens if Gum Disease goes untreated?
If left untreated, gum disease can be devastating. Some long-term effects may include:
- Loss of teeth
- Recession of gums
- Loss of bone
- Contribution to or intensification of systemic issues like diabetes and heart disease
How do I know if I have Gum Disease?
One of the biggest misconceptions about gum health is that everyone’s gums bleed sometimes – this is not the case. Healthy gums should not bleed. If you’ve been ignoring the signs, here are some other common symptoms of gum disease:
- Red or puffy gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
What causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the growth of bacteria on the teeth and gums. Your gums may swell or bleed easily when they are irritated. Over time, plaque hardens into tarter, which can irritate gums to the point where they begin to pull away from the teeth, allowing for an even easier environment for bacteria to thrive, and gum disease to progress.
The one thing to remember is that gum disease is not only treatable, but it is preventable. Maintaining good oral hygiene at home, and coming to see your Fort Wayne dentist is your best bet for avoiding the situation all together. At your regular checkup appointments, Dr. Diehl & Dr. Hemphill will perform a periodontal exam, assessing any changes in the appearance and general health of your gums. The earlier we detect it, the better.
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection that is hidden below your gums. Dental cleanings can effectively treat the bacteria, but when you return home the cycle often continues. Bacterial cells grow back in just hours after a cleaning, and toothbrush, rinse, and floss can’t reach deep enough to address the infection at home.
The Perio Tray by Perio Protect gently applies medication deep under the gums to fight the infections. You use it at home for just minutes each day. The Tray is comfortable, flexible, and custom-fit precisely for your mouth.
With Perio Tray therapy, you have a new chance against the infections. In addition to healthier gums, patients commonly report whiter teeth and fresher breath. If you’ve been told that you have gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), ask our team if Perio Trays are right for you.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, please don’t wait for the issue to resolve itself – because it won’t. Call our office at (260) 489-1100 today to schedule a periodontal exam, or request an appointment online.