When our patients visit our office for their regular hygiene cleaning and examination every six months, their main concern is to check on the status of their teeth and learn if they are suffering from any tooth decay. While that is a valid concern, as tooth decay can lead to a number of costly issues, we also examine for the development of another disease that can cause just as many concerns – Gum Disease. This condition affects more than half of the American population, most of whom are unaware that they have this periodontal disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a serious gum infection and inflammation caused by bacterial growth along the gumline and around the base of the tooth. Gum disease comes in two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the more mild form of gum disease. Often caused by inadequate oral hygiene, it can be corrected with professional treatment such as scaling and root planing.
Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. If this form of the disease remains untreated, there can be extreme consequences such as tooth removal and a deteriorating jawbone.
Sign of Gum Disease
One of the biggest concerns with gum disease is that it is known as the silent disease due to the lack of discomfort experienced, unlike with tooth decay. The most important way to detect gum disease is to stay vigilant with your routine hygiene exams every six months. Our staff will check for signs of the disease and suggest treatment if necessary. There are warning signs that you can look out for at home:
- Swollen or irritated gums
- Continuous bad breath
- Receding gums or gums pulling away from the teeth
- Gums that bleed easily
- Sudden change in your bite
- Teeth that feel loose
If you notice or experience any of these symptoms and you have not visited our office recently, we highly suggest that you call for an appointment as soon as possible. We can help ease your mind and address any issues before they become more severe.
If you are located in the Jacksonville Beach, FL area and have any questions about gum disease or are in need of an appointment, please contact our office today. We look forward to working with you to improve your oral health!