The True Toll of Gum Disease on Your Dental Health
It seems like everyone in Los Angeles is concerned with having a bright smile, but good oral health is equally important as a beautiful smile. Although it’s generally understood that poor dental care can lead to cavities, there are more serious health problems that can result from poor oral hygiene. If you don’t take proper care of your teeth and gums, there can be far more serious health consequences than a simple toothache or some unsightly stains. It all begins with gum disease.
Gum disease is a type of gum infection that affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease is insidious, particularly because it can be painless and have no symptoms. Unfortunately, however, it’s one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. The condition is also known as “periodontal disease” and is caused by the presence of plaque (the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth). Fortunately, the specialists at the CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy in LA can provide the expert gum disease treatment necessary to restore a healthy smile.
What are the Main Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red and swollen gums
- Gum tenderness
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Bad taste in the mouth or bad breath
- The feeling of loose or separating permanent teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when eating and/or chewing
- Changes in the fit or feel of partial dentures
While gum disease can happen to anyone, at any age, there are certain factors that increase a person’s risk of developing the condition. These factors include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or the use of chewing tobacco
Medications, including, but not limited to: steroids, certain anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
If you suspect you have gum disease, it’s important to receive treatment sooner rather than later. There are different stages of the disease, and the earlier it’s treated, the better the outcome. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. With gingivitis, individuals may experience red and swollen gums that can bleed easily, most often while brushing. During this early stage of gum disease, a professional cleaning can reverse these symptoms, as long as patients brush daily, floss daily, and follow up with regular periodontal visits.
If gum disease advances, the next stage is called periodontitis, which, if left untreated, can become a chronic problem. Up to 47.2% of U.S. adults over 30 have chronic periodontitis, which can lead to the progressive loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth. If left untreated chronic periodontitis may cause your teeth to feel loose and start moving around in your mouth, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. While the most common form of periodontitis occurs in adults, the disease can affect individuals of any age and has periods of rapid progression.
Currently, research is being conducted that investigates the correlation between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases, like gum disease. While no direct link has been established, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions, such as diabetes or strokes.
Learn more about chronic periodontitis at Wikipedia.org.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Since it’s possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs, regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. If you are diagnosed with gum disease in Los Angeles, treatment methods will vary depending on the stage of gum disease, how far the condition has progressed, and if the teeth and gums have been damaged. In between visits to your periodontist, at-home dental care is essential to stop periodontal disease from becoming more serious.
Good oral hygiene includes:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Cleaning between your teeth daily
- Eating a balanced diet
- Avoiding nicotine
- Scheduling regular dental visits with your periodontist
Good oral health helps prevent gum disease, which in turn can lead to more serious illnesses or physical problems. The importance of establishing good oral habits is clear: practicing proper dental care is important in many ways you might not have realized before! If you notice signs of decay, don’t wait to get the expert treatment you need if you’re in Los Angeles!
Find the Best Gum Disease Treatment in Los Angeles
If you think you have gum disease, early treatment is key for the best results. For more information on gum disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options contact the CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy today. Our Los Angeles periodontists look forward to seeing you!