According to the CDC, more than half of Americans have mild to severe gum disease. What’s more, because periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, it is associated with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Though there are risk factors that can increase a person’s predisposition to develop gum disease, daily dental care, and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent this condition. 

Keep reading to learn more about gum disease, and visit our website to schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Wesley Chapel at Mystic Oaks Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Read more about what to expect at your next visit in light of COVID-19. 

Gum Disease Symptoms & Treatments

Gum disease is also called periodontal disease. Gum disease often begins with mild symptoms: 

  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)

Mild gum disease is called gingivitis. Simply bettering your daily dental hygiene can help reverse the effects of gingivitis. However, if it is allowed to progress, it can turn into a more serious case of periodontal disease. 

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gingivitis that becomes periodontal disease, occurs when tartar and plaque buildup spreads below the gum line. Because plaque contains bacteria, this can not only cause your gums to become more inflamed but can result in more serious conditions: 

  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Pus at the gum line or between teeth
  • Red, puffy gums

These symptoms can mean that you have developed a serious dental condition that can put your oral health and general health in danger. 

Can You Die From Gum Disease?

Though in most cases those who develop gum disease aren’t usually at risk of dying from it, the condition can accept other factors that could cause fatality. Gum disease can increase your risk of death from other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Other factors can put you more at risk to develop gum disease. Some of these include: 

  • Stress
  • Bruxism
  • Lifestyle (obesity, poor nutrition, and smoking)
  • Genetics
  • Medications (oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medications)
  • Medical conditions (Cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes)

Medical conditions that put you more at risk for gum disease can also be highly affected by the presence of the disease, creating a vicious cycle. However, seeking proper dental and medical attention can improve all conditions. 

Gum Disease Treatment

Gingivitis can be reversed with proper oral hygiene. However, in more advanced cases, those that would be classified as periodontal disease require more radical care and treatment. Suggested treatments for periodontal disease include: 

  • Extraction – removes damage, decay, and loose teeth (to avoid infection)
  • Flap surgery – repairs bone damage and deep cleans teeth roots
  • Gingivectomy – removes affected gum tissue and the pockets that allow bacteria to thrive
  • Root planing and scaling – removes tartar and plaque on teeth and below the gum line.

How to Avoid Gum Disease

Many can avoid gum disease if they invest in proper dental care. This includes: 

  • Brushing teeth regularly, twice a day
  • Flossing once to twice a day
  • Rinsing with mouthwash 
  • Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings (once or twice a year)

Avoiding harmful activities and investing in a healthy lifestyle can also lower your risk of developing gum disease. 

I Think I Have Gum Disease… What Should I Do? 

If you think you have gum disease, it is best to seek dental care as soon as possible. Though the current COVID-19 pandemic may make seeing the dentist in Wesley Chapel more difficult, discuss your concerns with them and they will be able to work with you to provide you the timely care you need. 

Schedule with Wesley Chapel’s Top Rated Local® Dentist today!