Gum Disease

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What Causes Gum Disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. Some types of bacteria mix with your saliva to form a substance on your teeth called plaque. If you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, the plaque in your mouth will harden and form tartar. Tartar can’t be cleaned by just brushing. As a result, it can cause cavities in your teeth and infect your gums.

The biggest risk factor for gum disease is not practicing good oral hygiene. For the best defense, make sure that you’re:

  • Brushing for two minutes, twice per day
  • Flossing once per day
  • Visiting My Family Dentistry for checkups and cleanings every 6 months

 

Maintaining a regular flossing habit keeps dangerous bacteria from growing between your teeth, moving into your gums, and causing infection. Other factors that could contribute to gum disease include smoking, diabetes and certain other illnesses, hormonal changes, certain medications, and genetics.

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Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red and swollen. Often, the gums bleed easily when a patient experiences gingivitis which can be caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Typically, a patient does not experience discomfort with gingivitis which can be reversed with professional treatment and good oral hygiene habits at home.

Periodontitis

Gingivitis can lead to the next stage of gum disease, periodontitis. When plaque spreads, it can grow below the gum line. The toxins produced by the bacteria irritates the gums and initiates the body’s inflammatory response. This inflammation causes the tissues and bone that support the teeth to break down. Patients may experience loose teeth. It can even progress so much that the tooth may need to be removed.

Signs of Gum Disease

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for the common symptoms of gum disease: 

  • Inflammation
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums

 

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and is linked to other chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and various forms of cancer. If you notice some or all of these symptoms, contact us and set up an appointment immediately.

What Gum Disease Treatment is Best for Me?

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Your best option varies depending on the state of your gums and teeth. Therefore, the only way to find out is to contact Dr. Mullins or Dr. Owen. They can examine the progression of your gum disease and help you figure out the best treatment for your stage of gum disease.


At My Family Dentistry, we work hard to treat gum disease and above all, we strive to give our patients a smile they love and deserve.

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