Tips

Gum Disease

enfermedad-de-las-enciasGum disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth . It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Because periodontal disease is painless , you may not know you have it . It is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are some of the warning signs that may indicate a problem :

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen , tender gums
  • gums that pull away from the teeth
  • Bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating


Some factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease are:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetic causes
  • crooked teeth that are difficult to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • drugs , including steroids , certain medications for epilepsy, cancer treatment drugs , some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

 

Visit your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. The initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, the gums become red , swollen and bleeds easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be removed professionally at the dental office , followed by daily brushing and flossing .

 

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis . Chronic periodontitis can lead to loss of tissue and bone that supports the teeth and may worsen over time. If you have it, your teeth feel loose . This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults , but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly , but there may be periods of rapid progression .

 

Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive periodontal disease which occurs in otherwise healthy patients . Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone and can occur in some areas of the mouth , or throughout the mouth.

 

It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.


Remember: You do not have to lose teeth to gum disease . Brush your teeth twice a day , cleaning between your teeth every day , eat a balanced diet , and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles .