Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. During each regular checkup, Dr. Barrineau and your hygienist will check for signs of gum disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums. The most common symptoms of gum disease include gums that bleed easily, gums that have pulled away from the teeth, and loose teeth.
Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria and tartar build-up. This can cause bleeding while brushing and flossing. If gingivitis is not treated, it will lead to periodontitis.
- Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. Untreated periodontitis can lead to tooth loss due to the destruction of the supporting bone.
What causes gum disease?
The primary cause of gum disease is improper oral hygiene that allows plaque bacteria to accumulate over a period of time. If the plaque is not removed by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups, it will continue to build up and damage the gums. Factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease include smoking, hormones, medications, and nutritional deficiencies.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to tackle gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place! Routine dental cleanings and exams with Dr. Barrineau at our Gulf Breeze dental office and improved homecare (brushing and flossing) are the best ways to prevent gum disease.
If you have gum disease, we have several tools and options to provide treatment that are both comfortable and safe. We may recommend more frequent cleanings, scaling and root planing, prescription treatment trays, or periodontal surgery to stop the disease from progressing.
Reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease by scheduling regular visits to our Gulf Breeze dental office, and help keep your smile healthy for life!