Gum disease is a common dental issue that can get overlooked. It is often painless and can be a secret enemy infiltrating your mouth. Gingivitis refers to the early stages of gum disease. If diagnosed in this stage, treatment options are often minimally invasive. With a professional dental cleaning, followed up with proper oral hygiene of brushing and flossing, gingivitis can be reversed. However, failing to detect gum disease early can have serious consequences since it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Fortunately, there are some early warning signs of gum disease, and Dr. Kevin Boulard and his team at Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH want you to keep an eye out for symptoms of this sneaky intruder.
What is gum disease?
Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to this dental issue, such as smoking, hormonal changes, illness, family history, and poor oral hygiene habits. Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition of inflammation in the gums, and it can range from mild to advanced. The first phase is gingivitis, which is a buildup of plaque under the gumline. If left untreated, the second phase can develop into periodontitis, which impacts gums and bone structure. The most advanced stage is periodontal disease, which can cause teeth to become loose, or worse, fall out. Our dental team at Something To Smile About offers various treatment options, depending on each patient’s needs and gum disease severity.
What does gum disease look like?
Your gums are the foundation for healthy teeth. They are the first line of defense to protect your teeth and their roots against debris and food. Periodontitis, or gum disease, is common and usually the result of poor dental hygiene. Brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and getting regular dental checkups can significantly improve your chances of not developing it. Healthy gums should be pink and firm, fitting snug around the teeth. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Bright red or purplish-colored gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
- Teeth that pulled away from the gumline
- Change in bite occlusion or shifting teeth
Are you experiencing swollen and bleeding gums?
Gingivitis or the early stage of gum disease is reversible. However, when left untreated, it can lead to severe dental and health issues. At Something To Smile About, we work with our patients to help them improve their gum health. Detecting and treating gum disease as early as possible minimizes damage and any need for more invasive treatments. If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, make an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek dental care, the better your chances of reversing damage to your teeth and gums, improving your oral health.
Your gums are the foundation to protect your teeth. Keeping them healthy is part of having good dental health. Find a dentist you can trust and visit every six months to keep your gums healthy. Dr. Kevin Boulard is a skilled, experienced dentist who can diagnose, prevent, and treat gum disease so you can enjoy a great smile and have healthy gums protecting your teeth. Call or schedule your dental consultation with one of our professional team members at Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH.