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Have You Got Gum Disease?

A dentist with a dental model.

Studies show that millions of Americans are experiencing some stage of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, which is a much more serious condition. Unhealthy gums can lead to tooth decay and loss, and may affect your overall health.

The American Heart Association states that gum disease makes it three times more likely you will develop heart disease. The bacteria that cause gingivitis leak into the bloodstream, increasing glucose levels and adding to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s are also more likely to develop in people suffering from diseased gums.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

In the early stages, gingivitis is categorized by noticeably red, swollen gums. These symptoms can become painful, especially when you consume hard foods, or hot or cold drinks. You may notice blood when brushing or flossing. Persistent bad breath and a nasty taste in the mouth indicate that bacteria levels have risen significantly.

As the condition worsens, the mouth may develop painful ulcers. Your teeth will loosen and could fall out. A lump appearing on the lips or inside the oral cavity is a cause for concern. You should contact your dentist as soon as possible for an emergency appointment.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of gum disease. Failure to brush and floss regularly and efficiently allows plaque to build up on the teeth, creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Smoking or chewing tobacco is a habit that is bad for your overall health, but it also contributes to gum disease. Chemicals in tobacco prevent the cells in your gums from functioning normally, making them more susceptible to infection.

Some prescription medications reduce saliva production, giving you a dry mouth. Spit helps wash bacteria away, and its absence allows gingivitis to set in. Make sure you maintain a balanced diet including water and vitamin C to promote healthy gums resistant to infection.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

At Gwinnett Family Dental Care, we employ the latest technology to combat gingivitis and periodontitis. For mild to moderate cases, we will deep clean and scale your teeth, then apply the antibiotic Arestin directly to the gum line. Advanced cases are treated with the Picasso Lite soft tissue laser, closing any pockets in the gums.

Contact Gwinnett Family Dental Care in Lawrenceville, Georgia, today for an appointment.

Posted on Behalf of Gwinnett Family Dental Care

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