Last week while driving, I was listening to XM radio and found a station with a guest dentist. She talked about gum disease and that you can get it even if you regularly brush and floss your teeth. That doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t catch the entire segment because I had an appointment to keep. Are there certain contributing factors for gum disease? Also, what are the symptoms of gum disease? I’m not the best at keeping dental appointments, so I’m interested in knowing what to look for. Thanks – Briana
Gum disease is mainly caused by plaque, but there are other risks factors. Tobacco use increases the risk of gum disease. Stress makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection, including periodontal disease. Certain medications can affect your oral health. Some inflammatory diseases can promote inflammation in your gums.
Poor nutrition can affect the body’s ability to fight infection and disease, which can affect your gums. Grinding your teeth puts pressure on the teeth and gums, and can affect gum tissue. Some people are genetically disposed to gum disease. And gum disease is more common among the elderly.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
- Pus in your gums, or between your teeth and gums
- Inflamed, red, or sore gums
- Gums that bleed when your brush your teeth or eat certain foods
- Loosening of teeth
- Increase in spaces between teeth
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way partial dentures fit
- Mouth sores
Early detection of gum disease is makes treatment easier. Stopping the progression of gum disease can save your teeth and help avoid more aggressive treatment. Regular dental check-ups with an examination of your teeth and gums are critical to preventing gum disease and to detecting it early.
This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.