If you think you’re not at risk of infected gums, you’d better think again. One study by the American Academy of Periodontology found that nearly half of adults in America over the age of 30 have periodontitis, the advanced, more severe form of gum disease. It’s important to recognize the warning signs in your mouth for what they are so that you can have a better chance of avoiding the worst effects. Learn more about why you should get gum disease treatment in Houston at the first sign of inflammation.
What Causes Gum Disease?
As you know, when you don’t practice proper oral hygiene, bacteria-filled plaque builds up on your teeth, which can lead to cavities. These bacteria can also infect the gums, creating the condition known as gum disease (also known as periodontal disease).
What’s The First Sign Of Gum Disease?
The earliest stage of a gum infection is called gingivitis. It causes the gums to become inflamed (appearing red and swollen) and bleed more easily; you may also notice chronic bad breath. Fortunately, at this point the condition can still be treated by your periodontist in Houston before too much damage is done.
What If Gum Disease Is Left Untreated?
If you ignore gingivitis, it can become periodontitis, a much more severe infection. The gums will recede, creating pockets where bacteria and food particles can become trapped, causing an infection. The toxins from the bacteria and the enzymes produced by the body’s immune system will break down the bone that holds the teeth in place; eventually, tooth loss could occur.
What Should I Do If I Have Gum Disease?
If you notice signs of inflammation in your gums, you should be seen by a periodontist as soon as possible; treatment is more likely to be successful when performed during the early gingivitis stage.
There are steps you can take at home as well. Antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash can be used to help you effectively get at plaque in hard-to-reach places. Continued brushing and flossing can also help; be sure to brush along the gum line, and consider using an electric toothbrush. Just remember that at-home care does not replace the need for professional care.
Gum disease can often go undiagnosed simply because people don’t think the symptoms are a big deal, but don’t fall into this trap. Examine your gums while brushing and check for signs of inflammation; if you notice redness or swelling, don’t delay in scheduling a periodontal appointment. Gum disease may be merely annoying at first, but you’ll need to act fast to make sure it doesn’t become worse.