Gum disease, typically referred to as periodontal disease, is a condition that results in the inflammation of the tissues in the mouth. It can cause bleeding, swelling, and infection, as well as the permanent loss of gum tissue, bone, and natural teeth. It can be extremely devastating to a patient’s smile. Once it develops, it cannot be cured, only controlled.
The signs of gum disease start with gingivitis, the stage in which patients may experience bleeding when they brush or floss. Patients may have sensitive, swollen gum tissue and persistent bad breath. At this point, patients can seek treatment and reverse the condition. However, if it is left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, which is a serious stage with the potential to cause extensive damage to the oral structure.
What causes gum disease? Patients who take good care of their oral health can reduce the risk of the development and progression of this disease. Poor oral health is a common factor. However, there are also other reasons it may develop.
Changes in Hormones
In some cases, changes in hormone levels can greatly affect one’s susceptibility to gum disease. Patients who are going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause may be at a higher risk for developing gum disease.
Some patients with specific medical conditions may be at a higher risk for developing gum disease. The CDC has found links between gum disease and diabetes. Kidney disease and dry mouth (reduced saliva) can increase one’s risk, as well as certain medications.
Patients who deal with bruxism (grinding and clenching of the teeth) may be putting themselves at risk for gum disease as this can contribute to the wear and tear of otherwise healthy natural teeth. This damage can contribute to one’s susceptibility to developing this harmful condition.
The team at Innovative Dental By Dr. A in Philadelphia is here to help. Patients of all ages who are concerned about their oral health can visit our practice to learn more about gum disease and how to avoid it. Dr. A will also do a thorough medical background check to determine if any preexisting condition makes his patients more susceptible to developing periodontitis. If so, appropriate action will be taken to ensure patients keep their smile healthy for the long run!