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Don’t Let Gum Disease Ruin Your Life!

woman holding cheek

Would you be surprised if we told you that a majority of adults have some level of gum disease? If you’ve been subjected to red, tender or swollen gums in the past, just know that you are far from alone. Most recent reports note that 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 suffer from gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Additionally, in a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans 30 years of age and older have either mild, moderate or severe periodontitis. That’s over 64 million Americans!

To celebrate Gum Disease Awareness Month and make sure our patients stay informed, Blue Coast Dental’s February newsletter will be focusing on the root cause of gum disease, the signs and symptoms you need to be aware of, and how our office helps you manage and treat your gum disease before it causes permanent damage. After all, knowing is half the battle when it comes to preventing common chronic disease.

The Cause of Gum Disease

Closeup of teeth

Gum disease forms in the same way that tooth decay forms; through unremoved dental plaque. When plaque is allowed to sit on the many oral structures of the mouth, bacteria attacks these structures and begins breaking them down. When plaque is on gum tissue, it causes inflammation, which leads to red, tender and puffy gums. Putting off your oral care only allows the plaque to spread and fester further, causing the gum disease to progress.

While oral care is key, it’s important to note that your diet can also have an influence on your risk for gum disease. If you’re routinely consuming food and beverages high in sugar, starch or acidic compounds, your mouth will become more acidic. The more acidic your mouth is, the faster plaque will produce. Keeping a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and proteins can truly make a big difference.

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What Should You Look Out For?

Closeup smile of dental patient

If you’ve heard gum disease be labeled as the “silent killer” before, understand that this name sticks for a reason. Most symptoms for gum disease don’t appear until bacteria has already started breaking down your gum and bone tissue.

With that said, there are symptoms that should trigger a visit to our office as soon as possible. They include:

  • Red or purple gums (gums should be light pink)
  • Pain while chewing or biting down
  • Tender, puffy or sensitive gums
  • Loose or sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or teeth that appear longer than usual
  • Chronic bad breath

How Treatment Can Save Your Smile

Dental patient

If gum disease is untreated, it can easily lead to permanent damage to your gum and bone tissue, which in turn leads to tooth loss. This is also why gum disease is considered the number-one cause of tooth loss in adults. Thankfully, gum disease is largely preventable if you practice daily oral care and visit our office once every six months for cleanings and checkups.

However, if you are just now noticing the symptoms, our in-office periodontist Maria Galvan can create a treatment plan that puts your gum health back in the right direction. These treatments include:

  • Scaling and Root Planing
  • Soft Tissue Laser Therapy
  • Antibiotic Therapy
  • Gum Graft Surgery
  • Periodontal Pocket Reduction
  • Dental Crown Lengthening

Just because you have gum disease doesn’t mean you should give up on treatment. In fact, it means the exact opposite. Visiting our office to have your gum health evaluated is the first step to making sure you prevent tooth loss and maintain a healthy smile for many years to come. If you or a family member is experiencing the symptoms we mentioned or you simply have questions about treatment, feel free to give the dentists at Blue Coast Dental a call!

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