What is Gum Disease (and do I have it)?

January 7, 2022

“A lot of the research that has come about in the last 15 years, and medical doctors are starting to talk about it as well, is the correlation between your oral health and your overall health.” – Dr. Ashley Pare, Seaside Dentistry

Much of your oral health has to do with the health of your gums. Your gums form a tight seal around the teeth to keep them in place and provide a barrier against bacteria. Unfortunately, this barrier can be broken down for many reasons, causing gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums, and when left untreated, gum disease can result in damage to the jaw, loose teeth and tooth loss.

Gum disease is more common than you may think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that 47.2% of adults aged 30 or above and 70.1% of adults aged 65 or above have periodontal disease. There are many causes, symptoms and stages of periodontal disease that Dr. Pare of Seaside Dentistry, a Jupiter dental group, can treat. We offer nonsurgical gum disease treatments at our office in Jupiter, Florida. Remember, regular dental checkups help detect periodontal disease before it impacts your oral health and reduce your chances of developing the disease.

“Even if you have had religious dental visits/cleanings in the past, it is crucial that your gum measurements are completed at each visit and that necessary digital x-rays are taken when needed, to diagnose any changes in your oral health, specifically gum health. The measurements show us the exact gum levels, show us bleeding and inflammation. The x-rays show us bone health, specifically bone loss we cannot see underneath the gums from a visual exam, as well as tartar deposits under the gums. As we age, our gum health can shift. Hormonal changes and medications affect this as well. That’s why frequent gum health checks are crucial!” – Dr. Ashley Pare, Seaside Dentistry

The following factors can increase your risk of developing gum disease:

-Poor oral hygiene
-Poor nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
-Taking certain medications that cause dry mouth or affect gums
-Family history of periodontal disease
-Frequently clenching and grinding your teeth
-Smoking or chewing tobacco
-Hormonal changes
-Avoiding routine dental visits for professional dental exams and cleanings
-Health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, or kidney problems
-Conditions that decrease immunity, such as cancer treatment, leukemia, and HIV/AIDS

Symptoms don’t always appear until someone already has an advanced stage of the disease. That is why regular check-ups, and collaborative care with your dentist in Jupiter, Florida is so important.

The most common symptoms of gum disease include:

-Red, tender, or swollen gums
-Mouth sores
-Bleeding while brushing or flossing
-Receding gums
-Loose or separating teeth
-Pus between the gums and teeth
-Persistent bad breath
-A change in the bite

If you suspect you have gum disease, Dr. Pare at Seaside Dentistry can help diagnose and treat you. Seaside Dentistry’s approach to dental care is collaborative and preventative.

“We can track gum loss, known as recession, and tooth wear over time at our practice from comparing the photographic scans with a feature called ‘time lapse’.”

Here are some tips on how to prevent periodontal disease:

-Brush Your Teeth
-Floss Your Teeth
-Rinse Your Mouth
-Know Your Risk Factors
-Visit Your Dentist

Treating periodontal disease quickly is imperative for your overall health. Gum disease will continue to progress when it is left untreated. At Seaside Dentistry in Jupiter, Florida, our experienced dentist works with our patients to help them to improve their gum health by focusing on proactive dentistry in a preventative way. We teach our patients good oral hygiene habits that help them to stop the progression of any stage of periodontal disease.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your routine care and dental hygiene visit.

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