Understanding Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental ailment that affects approximately one out of every two American adults aged 30 and over. This condition is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults across North America and Europe. Despite its prevalence, many people remain unaware of the serious health risks associated with gum disease, which extend beyond oral health to include increased risk for Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Despite its prevalence, many people remain unaware of the serious health risks associated with gum disease, which extend beyond oral health

What Is Periodontal Disease?

The term “periodontal” originates from the Greek language, meaning “around the tooth”. It refers to a condition affecting the tissues around teeth, including gums and jawbone. The primary cause of periodontal disease is plaque, a clear sticky substance formed when saliva combines with food particles in our mouths. Bacteria naturally residing in your mouth feed on this plaque, and if not removed by regular brushing or flossing, it can lead to inflammation and infection of gum tissue.

Causes Of Gum Disease

Apart from inadequate oral hygiene leading to plaque accumulation, other factors contributing to the development of periodontal diseases are smoking or tobacco use, hormonal changes such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, certain illnesses, genetics, poor nutrition, stress, and clenching or grinding teeth.

Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases progress through stages starting with Gingivitis, characterized by inflamed gums without bone loss. At this stage, it’s mildly reversible. Not all Gingivitis progresses into full-fledged gum disease; however, if left untreated, it can develop into Periodontitis, where the underlying bone starts eroding due to deepening pockets created by inflamed gums, eventually resulting in loose teeth due to lack of jawbone support.

Symptoms Of Gum Disease

Signs indicating the presence of gum disease can be subtle and often painless and include gums that bleed easily while brushing or flossing, swollen, tender gums, receding gums, changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, deep pockets between teeth, loose, shifting teeth, pus between your teeth, persistent bad breath, and new spaces developing between your teeth.

Importance Of Dental Evaluation

Given the potential for periodontal diseases to progress unnoticed, it’s crucial to get regular dental check-ups, including x-rays, which often provide reliable methods for diagnosing gum disease and enabling timely treatment. Early intervention not only improves oral health but can also enhance overall health outcomes.

Gum Disease Treatment In Arlington Heights, IL

At AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL, we are dedicated to helping patients prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal diseases through routine cleanings, check-ups, and minimally invasive treatments designed to protect their teeth from periodontal diseases. If you’re experiencing bleeding, it could be a warning sign of underlying periodontal disease. Don’t delay seeking professional help. Schedule an appointment today by calling (847) 230-9703 or contacting us online.