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There are fewer things more important for your overall oral and dental health than protecting yourself from periodontal disease. When left untreated, periodontal disease can progress and lead to serious complications, including the loss of your permanent teeth and damage to your tissues and bone structure. At Something To Smile About, leading Merrimack, NH dentist Dr. Kevin Boulard believes that healthy gums are essential for preserving your natural teeth and dental health. With this in mind, we are proud to offer a wide range of general, preventive, and periodontal dental treatments and procedures for patients at all stages of their dental care journey. Below, you’ll find out what signs and symptoms may mean you have periodontal disease, when to see your dentist, and what can happen if gum disease is not treated promptly and appropriately.

What is periodontal disease?

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease refers to a collection of symptoms and conditions related to the inflammation and/or infection of gum tissue. Technically speaking, the underlying cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque beneath the gumline, which can progress and lead to more serious symptoms and conditions. Risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Genetics
  • Age

Is periodontal disease dangerous?

The first stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. This condition is highly treatable when caught early. However, it can be very challenging to recognize gingivitis on your own. For this reason, it is critical that patients visit the dentist for their biannual cleanings and exams, at which time Dr. Boulard can identify early signs of gingivitis before they become more serious.

When periodontal disease progresses beyond gingivitis, it is known as periodontitis, which can bring about more noticeable and uncomfortable symptoms that are also more difficult to treat. Periodontitis treatment is often extensive and requires multiple appointments.

Finally, untreated periodontitis can progress to advanced periodontitis, which can compromise the form, function, and overall health of the patient’s teeth and oral structures.

Does gum disease make your teeth fall out?

When left untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause the teeth to become loose, shift around, or fall out.

What are the symptoms of gum disease, and when should I see a dentist?

While early gingivitis can be difficult to detect on your own, there are some signs and symptoms of gum disease that may point to the need for a visit to your dentist. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Red gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding while flossing
  • Discomfort while brushing
  • Spitting out blood after brushing or flossing
  • Receding gumline
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Teeth feel loose

If you are experiencing any of these signs of gum disease, schedule a visit with Dr. Boulard as soon as possible to prevent the worsening of your condition. Depending on the degree of your periodontal disease and other factors, Dr. Boulard may recommend scaling and root planing, gum grafting, antibiotics, gum surgery, or another form of periodontal disease treatment. With prompt attention and an experienced dentist, periodontal disease does not have to compromise the health and beauty of your smile.

Protect your smile with early detection and treatment for periodontal disease in Merrimack, NH

Whether you suspect that you already have gum disease or simply want to do everything possible to avoid it, we can help. Call Something To Smile About Dental Care in Merrimack, NH to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kevin Boulard, and boost the health and beauty of your smile for years to come.

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