Gum disease is one of the most prevalent health issues in the United States. Fortunately, while many patients have gum disease – the scope of gum disease is very broad. And gum disease in its earliest stages is relatively easy to treat and reverse.
However, periodontal disease – when not properly treated – can easily lead to early tooth loss due to the gradual destruction of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth.
With this in mind, our dentists in Garden Grove would like to give dental patients far and wide a brief primer on what gum disease is, how bad it can get, and some common question that patients have about it.
But what’s the difference between Gum Disease and Gingivitis?
Gingivitis happens when bacteria in your mouth and around your teeth creates a build-up of plaque – which is a sticky film of bacterial buildup that fuels tooth decay and gum disease. When you have gingivitis, it causes your gums to become inflamed- which can lead to puffy, bleeding gums – especially when you floss.
Periodontitis – otherwise known as gum disease is an infection of your gums that gradually causes them to pull away from your teeth which exposes your teeth to more germs and bacteria. This leaves them particularly susceptible to the destruction of gum and bone tissue. This will eventually cause your teeth to become loose – making gingivitis the number one leading cause of early tooth loss in adults.
In most cases, gum disease starts with plaque. This is a primary reason why our dentists in the Anaheim area stress that patients need to come in for a visit to ensure that their teeth are free from plaque.
There are other sources of periodontitis. Some of them include:
- Illnesses such as cancer, HIV, and diabetes
- Poor oral hygiene
So what can you do?
Preventing gum disease isn’t that hard. All it takes is establishing a good oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist a couple times a year. That’s it! As long as you don’t have other risk factors like illness or smoking – it really comes down to controlling how much plaque and bacteria are living in your mouth. Floss. Brush. And you’ll be good!