Gum disease is not just the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. It’s also a chronic infection that can have major health consequences beyond the mouth. That’s why gum treatment isn’t just important for your teeth, it’s important for your life. At Oasis Dental Arts, we take your oral and overall health very seriously, and put a high priority on the prevention and treatment of gum disease.
If you are looking for a Scripps Ranch dentist who can help protect your health, please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is largely a silent disease. Many people don’t realize they have a problem until it’s developed to an advanced degree. Some of the symptoms include:
- Redness, tenderness, and bleeding in gums
- Swollen or receding gums (teeth seem to get longer)
- Persistent bad breath
- Food stuck in teeth or gums
- Loose or drifting teeth
- Tooth loss
Many people think it’s normal to see a little blood in the sink when they brush or floss. Or they think it’s not a concern if their gums are sensitive when brushing or flossing This is not the case. Your gums shouldn’t bleed and they shouldn’t be sensitive to oral hygiene.
Bad breath can be a sign that bacteria are building up in the areas between your teeth and gums. This can also lead to more food getting stuck in these areas because bacteria are making space for themselves.
Food stuck in your teeth may also be a sign that your teeth are coming loose. And once your teeth are loose, they are more likely to come out.
Understanding Gum Problems
Gum disease is, basically, an infection of the area between your teeth and gums. Oral bacteria find their way into these spaces and multiply. As these bacteria multiply, they also produce strong acids that can damage your gums, teeth, and bones. This expands the area for bacteria and causes your gums to detach from your teeth and your teeth to detach from your bones.
But as destructive as the oral bacteria are, it’s often your body’s immune response that causes the worst of the damage. Oral bacteria can subvert your body’s immune system and make it attack you, not them. And sometimes your body’s response is to catastrophically attack both bacteria and bones–a kind of microbial nuclear option that sacrifices your own tissue in an attempt to stop the infection.
Meanwhile, the bacteria from the gums can spread via your breath, blood, and food to other parts of the body, extending the infection. And your body’s immune response–called an inflammatory response–can also spread the impact of the infection throughout the body.
Health Effects of Gum Disease
Because of the way that gum disease can spread bacteria through the body and trigger a chronic inflammatory response, it can contribute to many serious health risks beyond your mouth. Gum disease has been linked to:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer
In many cases, we have a clear link between gum disease and these health conditions. It has also been demonstrated in many cases that getting your treatment can relieve these other conditions.
Perhaps the most graphic demonstration is that people who get their gum disease treated can save thousands of dollars in medical bills they would spend treating these other conditions–saving as much as 74% of their annual costs for treating those conditions.
Overall, people with gum disease tend to die younger and have lower quality of life as they get older.
Gum Disease Treatment
How we treat your gum disease depends on the extent of your disease.
With early gum disease, we might simply recommend changes to your oral hygiene. This may include more brushing, better flossing or flossing with different tools, or the use of a recommended mouthwash.
If your gum disease is more developed, we might recommend more frequent dental exams and professional cleanings.
Advanced gum problems can benefit from laser dentistry. This allows us to clean out the pockets around your teeth more quickly and comfortably than with traditional approaches. Once your gums are cleaned out, they are allowed to heal. With improved oral hygiene, this can often keep your gums healthy.
For the most serious cases, we may refer you to a specialist for surgery.
Do you think you might need gum disease treatment in Scripps Ranch? Please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts today.