Gum disease is a surprisingly common scourge, affecting nearly half of all American adults over the age of 30. According to figures from the CDC, around 46% of American adults show some signs of gum disease, and 9% show signs of severe gum disease. Also known as gingivitis, it occurs in different stages as bacteria accumulate in the mouth, causing infection, decay, and various types of damage, including enamel erosion.
If left to its own devices, gingivitis can wreak havoc throughout the mouth, harming the gums, teeth, and even the jawbone. Fortunately, it’s easily treatable in its earlier forms. And you can help yourself achieve an optimal outcome in Merrimack, NH, by contacting us at Something to Smile About Dental Care—after all, healthy gums and routine periodontal appointments form the foundation of a healthy mouth!
It’s essential to know the early signs of gum disease
There may be multiple signs of developing gum disease, including abnormalities in the gums, such as redness, swelling, tenderness, or bleeding. The pain and discomfort can spread throughout the mouth, leading to painful chewing or increased tooth sensitivity. Individuals may also experience persistently bad breath or a foul, lingering taste, which may not be ameliorated through normal means. And as gingivitis develops, the gums will begin to pull away from the teeth. If left untreated, the tooth roots themselves will come under attack and the teeth may loosen, potentially requiring extraction.
However, one of the most dangerous features of mild gum disease is that it may not present any overly obvious signs. And as it develops, it could sneakily cause damage that would have been much more easily and efficiently treated with early intervention.
Timely or pre-emptive treatment is key to quashing gum disease
Prompt detection and treatment are necessary to avoid more serious forms of gum disease, including the most severe stage, known as periodontal disease or periodontitis.
Gum disease occurs as bacteria accumulate on the teeth, forming a sticky but invisible coating called plaque. And as these bacterial populations congregate and grow, they consume sugars that remain on the teeth, metabolizing them into acids that strip away enamel. And without the white enamel, the teeth’s deeper tissue, dentin, shows true, lending a yellower, darker smile.
The earlier, milder stages of gingivitis may cause inflammation and irritation. But if the plaque is left untreated, it begins to harden into calcified plaque, called tartar.
During these more advanced stages, gum recession occurs as the gums pull away from the teeth. And as more of the tooth surface is exposed, the infection reaches even further down to attack the tooth roots and loosen the teeth, before affecting the jawbone itself. Therefore, routine check-ups and timely treatments are necessary to guard your dental health and avert future woes.
Get in touch today to protect your oral health and treat gum disease
Healthy gums are the root of a healthy mouth and the basis for total dental wellness. And while gum disease may be all too common, the treatment is exceptionally effective. Especially with timely intervention, which can prevent future problems and provide comprehensive oral well-being and a beautiful smile! So please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our Something to Smile About Dental Care practice in Merrimack, NH, to see how we can best help you!