Do your gums hurt when you brush your teeth? Have you noticed bleeding gums when you eat, brush, or floss? Are your teeth loose or shifting? If you have any of these symptoms, you are suffering from gum disease, a chronic infection that contributes to inflammation throughout your body, including your heart. Gum disease treatment not only protects your teeth, it can help preserve your overall health, and may reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is when bacteria living in your mouth begin to infect your gums. In its earliest form, gingivitis, gum disease may be spotted by gums that bleed easily or become red and swollen. As soon as these symptoms appear, it is important that you contact a dentist to schedule an examination. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a much more serious condition.
Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease. Symptoms of periodontitis may include:
- Gum recession
- Gums pulling away from teeth
- Pus between teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Chronic bad breath
With periodontitis, infection below the gum line can begin to spread into the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. Not only can this result in tooth loss, the infection can spread throughout the body and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and a number of other medical issues. To prevent these issues it is vital that you contact Dr. Wanda or Dr. George for periodontal treatment as soon as possible.
Treating Gum Disease
The treatment of gingivitis in its earliest stages often requires little more than improving your dental hygiene routine. This may include increasing brushing frequency, flossing two to three times a day, and using a prescription mouthwash.
If your gum disease has progressed, our dentists will need to take a more comprehensive approach. This may include treatments such as scaling and root planing or laser procedures in which plaque and tarter are removed from below the gum line. If your disease has progressed into the bone, we will refer you to one of our periodontist colleagues to ensure you receive the most effective treatment possible.
Gum Disease and Your Health
Gum disease can have a serious impact on your overall health. Once established in your mouth, bacteria can spread to the rest of your body. They can spread to your lungs, causing pneumonia. They can also spread via your blood to your heart, contributing to the buildup of arterial plaque and potentially even a heart infection.
Gum disease and diabetes have a mutually-reinforcing relationship. Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, and gum disease makes it harder to control your blood sugar. There is also evidence that gum disease bacteria increase your risk of cancer, in your mouth and elsewhere in the body.
These links are practical as well as theoretical. A study showed that treating gum disease could reduce heart disease costs by nearly $3000 a year, as well as reducing the cost of pregnancy complications by nearly 75%.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, please call (914) 332-4402 or contact Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown to schedule a comprehensive evaluation today. We proudly serve people throughout the Tarrytown, New York area.