First things first, let's address what gum disease actually is. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a condition in which the gums and bone around your teeth become infected or inflamed. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis; at this point, the gums are swollen and tender. If you don't seek treatment for gingivitis, it can advance to periodontitis, when your gums start pulling away from your teeth. This causes bad breath, and your teeth may eventually loosen or fall out. And while this can be very frightening to read, the good news is that gum disease is largely preventable and reversible if caught early enough.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease? What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
There are a few warning signs to be on the lookout for, such as:
- Gums that are tender, swollen, or red
- Receding gums
- Gums that bleed easily when you floss or brush
- Constant bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your occlusion (the way your teeth fit together when you bite)
- Sensitivity at the gum line and the surrounding teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, please make a consultation appointment to determine if you have periodontal disease in our Grand Rapids, MI dental office to see which treatment may be proper for you. If you already have gum disease, there are treatments available that can help stop the progression of the disease and even reverse some of the damage that's been done. Dr. Robson will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on the severity of your condition.
How Do I Prevent Gum Disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease is by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing daily and staying up-to-date with professional teeth cleanings at our Grand Rapids, MI, dental office (usually every six months). These appointments are more than teeth cleanings—we're checking for oral health problems too!
Additionally, it's important to avoid tobacco products of any kind because they increase your risk of developing gum disease. And last but not least—watch what you eat! A diet high in sugar can contribute to gum disease, so make sure to limit sugary snacks and drinks.
Know If You're At Risk
Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated—but it's also preventable and reversible if caught early enough. The best way to prevent gum disease is by practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and visiting Dr. Robson regularly for professional cleanings here in Grand Rapids, MI. With proper care at home and regular professional cleanings, it is sometimes possible to get rid of gum disease altogether—so don't wait to make an appointment if you think you may be at risk!