Do I Have Gum Disease? Here Are the Warning Signs and Risks Factors
Have you ever wondered what gum disease is? Well, in basic terms, gum disease refers to an infection of the soft tissues in the mouth that help keep your teeth in place. In its earliest stages, gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. In more advanced stages, gum disease is known as periodontitis.
Our dentists have helped patients all over Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene overcome this common dental health issue. We at Brooklyn Heights Dental® would like to cover some common signs and risk factors of gum disease and briefly touch on your options for treatment.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most common signs of gum disease are:
- Sore and bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Red or discolored gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Pain while chewing
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding gumline
In addition to the above, people with gum disease may notice that their teeth feel different when they bite down. This is because their teeth altered in their position as a result of the inflammation of gum tissue.
Risk Factors for Developing Gum Disease
Certain health conditions or behaviors could increase your risk of developing gum disease. This includes:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Tooth misalignment
- Frequent dry mouth
- Hormonal changes
What Happens If Gum Disease Goes Untreated?
There are a few consequences of untreated gum disease. These issues are why it’s crucial that you see a professional about your options for periodontal care.
Root Canal Infection
An infection of the gum tissue could spread into the internal structures of the tooth. Inside the tooth is a soft tissue called dental pulp. When the dental pulp becomes infected, it can lead to a great deal of discomfort. Root canal therapy is required to remove the diseased pulp and prevent further spread of infection.
Cavities Below the Natural Gumline
Since gum disease can lead to gum recession, there is a risk of cavities developing below the gumline. These instances of tooth decay can be more challenging to treat since the damage to the tooth structure occurs closer to the root of the tooth.
Tooth loss related to gum disease can come about in different ways. For one, a person may lose teeth from gum disease because their teeth have become decayed and loose. In some cases, a tooth may be so damaged or decayed that a dentist recommends extraction since the tooth can no longer be restored.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease
When treating gum disease, dentists may rely on different procedures. The ideal treatment option depends on the severity of the gum disease and the health of existing soft tissue.
For mild cases of gum disease, antibacterial rinses may be used. Root scaling and planing may also be recommended to remove bacterial pockets along the gumline.
Once the inflammation is under control, we can then discuss options to rebuild the gumline and reverse the effects of recession.
Need a Dentist to Look at Your Gums? Contact Us Today
Our dental office is conveniently located to serve people in and around Downtown Brooklyn. We draw patients from Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, and other nearby neighborhoods. If you suspect that you have gum disease and want to learn about your options for treatment, contact our Brooklyn Heights dental office.