In the U.S., an estimated three out of four adults have some level of gum disease, and many don’t realize it. Gum disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and the surrounding tissue. Generally caused by bacterial plaque, it is the biggest cause of adult tooth loss.

How Gum Disease Develops
Plaque is a thin, colorless film of bacteria in your mouth that develops on your teeth. Left untreated, bacterial plaque will harden to tartar. A rough, porous mineral buildup usually yellow or brown in color, tartar forms at and underneath the gum line. Plaque bacteria in tartar excrete toxins that cause gum inflammation, resulting in the development of periodontal pockets. This condition can lead to bone lose, loosening of the teeth, and eventually tooth loss.

What to Look For
Stopping the progression of gum disease before it escalates can save patients added time, discomfort, and expense. Signs of gum disease can include:

  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Presence of pus between the gum and tooth
  • Chronic halitosis

A Bigger Problem
Gum disease can wreak havoc on your mouth, but it can also cause other health concerns. Research has linked gum disease to problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and complications with diabetes. Because the symptoms are initially mild, many people don’t realize they have gum disease, which can allow the condition to worsen. You may have an increased risk for gum disease if you smoke, have diabetes, take certain medications, endure excessive stress, or don’t eat properly.

Treating Gum Disease
Periodontics is the area of dentistry that focuses on gum disease treatment. If caught in the early stages, your dentist can reverse gum disease. To begin, the dental hygienist will scale the teeth to remove plaque and calculus, and plane the roots to smooth them. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to clear up any infection or inflammation. Advanced cases may require your dentist to surgically treat the gums with a laser to disinfect the tissue, remove the hardened plaque build-up, and re-contour the damaged bone.


FAQs

My gums bleed when I brush. Should I be worried?
If you had bleeding on your arm or leg, you would check it out. Because bleeding gums can indicate a more serious problem like gum disease, you should make an appointment with your dentist to check it out.

Is gum disease hereditary?
Although there is a genetic component to gum disease, other factors, like lifestyle choices, age, and oral health habits, can also influence whether you develop this condition. Talk with your dentist to find out if you have other risk factors for gum disease.

What can I do to prevent gum disease?
The best prevention is taking proper care of your teeth and gums. Good brushing habits, regular flossing, and routine dental visits will go a long way to avoiding periodontal disease.

What is the cure for gum disease?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for gum disease. However, proper treatment and good home care can stop the progression of the disease and restore your oral health.

Please refer to the Laser Dentistry section under Dental Services for additional information on treating gum disease.

OUR DENTAL BLOG

sedation dentist
When to Consider Sedation Dentistry
If you avoid getting dental care because of the anxiety ...
Read More
What Your Teeth Say About Your Health
What Your Teeth Say About Your Health
Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It ...
Read More
Invislaign in Fernandina Beach
Can Choosing Invisalign Really Keep My Mouth Healthier?
Does your child need braces, but isn’t sure about being ...
Read More
What Your Family Dentist Has to Say About Your Child’s Pacifier
Your family dentist knows that your child’s pacifier serves an ...
Read More

Location

Amelia Dental Group
1947 Citrona Drive
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
P. (904) 261-7181
Hours & Directions

Connect With Us