According to a study in the Journal of Dental Research, over 47% of Americans over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease. That’s almost 65 million people! And it get worse as we grow older. More than 70% of Americans beyond the age of 65 have contracted this destructive disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection that can wreak havoc on your smile. It’s caused by bacteria that feeds on the plaque and tartar in you mouth. Plaque is the film that develops on your teeth after a meal.
You should make sure you remove plaque through a daily regimen of oral health which includes brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Plaque that remains on your teeth will harden and become tartar, the rough substance that your dental hygienist scrapes off your teeth when you get them cleaned.
Are There Different Types of Gum Disease?
You may have heard gum disease referred to as gingivitis or periodontitis. These aren’t different diseases–they are actually different stages of gum disease. The three stages of gum disease are:
- Advanced Periodontitis
How Do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the least destructive stage of gum disease. But if it isn’t treated in a timely fashion, it can turn into periodontitis or even advanced periodontitis. Only your dentist can tell for sure if you have gum disease. So you should see Dr. Robson right away if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of gingivitis:
- Red, swollen, sensitive, or bleeding gums
- You notice gaps developing between your teeth and gums
- Brushing causes bleeding
- Pus seeps from gums
- Unpleasant-smelling breath
How Can I Tell if I Have Periodontitis or Advanced Periodontitis?
If you don’t see Dr. Robson to get treatment for gingivitis, it can develop into periodontitis or even advanced periodontitis. At this point, the infection has progressed deep into your gums. You must see your dentist immediately or you risk doing serious damage to your smile. Symptoms of periodontitis and advanced periodontitis include:
- Brushing causes severe pain in addition to bleeding
- Loose teeth
- Red pockets of pus form around the base of your teeth
- Teeth move around in your jawbone
- Your breath is extremely bad
- Gums are bright red and sensitive to the touch
- Chewing becomes extremely painful
- Teeth no longer fit together when you bite down
- Teeth fall out
See Your Dentist Right Away
Do any of the symptoms mentioned in this article apply to you? If so, please contact our office to schedule an appointment right away.