If your teeth hurt when you chew or if you notice bleeding when you brush or floss, you probably have gum disease. If so, you should contact Dr. Rowntree immediately. The longer you wait to seek treatment for your gum disease, the more damaging it will be.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that occurs when food debris accumulates in the mouth. The bacteria that cause gum disease feeds on the plaque and tartar in your mouth. Plaque is a film that develops on your teeth after a meal and if it’s not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it will harden and become tartar.
It’s essential to visit Dr. Rowntree’s office for regular checkups so our hygienist can clean your teeth and remove the tartar. Otherwise, the bacteria that consumes the tartar can wreak havoc on your smile by causing gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
If your mouth is healthy, your gums should fit snugly around your teeth, with the space between the teeth and gums no more than 1-3 millimeters in depth. However, if gum disease is present in the mouth and is left to progress, pockets of infection develop, leaving noticeable gaps around your teeth.
When gum disease reaches its later stages, the symptoms become extremely unpleasant. The condition, which is also known as advanced periodontitis, exhibit the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen, and very sensitive gums
- Bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth
- Pockets that grow around the base of teeth making teeth appear larger
- Loose teeth and teeth that shift around
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth loss
Treatments for Gum Disease
Dr. Rowntree features effective treatments for all stages of gum disease. This includes the use of antibiotics and a treatment known as scaling and root planing. Commonly referred to as a “deep clean,” scaling and root planing involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and the pockets around them. And root planing smooths out the roots so they can become fully attached to the teeth.
Medical Consequences of Untreated Gum Disease
Untreated gum disease can have severe effects on your overall health. Gum disease causes the blood vessels in your mouth to swell, and this can affect other parts of your body. Recent scientific discoveries link gum disease to several serious medical issues, including heart disease, strokes, respiratory disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, premature childbirth, Alzheimer’s Disease, and diabetes.