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Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal gum disease occurs when the surrounding gum tissue and tooth become infected. There are three main stages of periodontal gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. If left untreated periodontal gum disease will eventually lead to damage of the gum tissue and the tooth itself, resulting in tooth loss.

Gum disease is the result of plaque buildup on the teeth and is the number one cause for tooth loss in the United States today.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

There are many risk factors associated with periodontal gum disease. These factors include:

•  Pregnancy - The surge of hormones and the increased amount of blood flow can cause dental issues during pregnancy.
•  Genetics - There are certain individuals who are predisposed to developing periodontal gum disease, despite continued efforts to maintain proper oral hygiene.
•  Tobacco use - Tobacco use of any kind increases one's risk of developing periodontal gum disease.
•  Positioning - Teeth that are difficult to care for due to their positioning can be more susceptible to developing periodontal gum disease.
•  Medication - Certain medications have been known to increase one's risk of developing periodontal gum disease. Some of these medications include oral contraceptives, anti-depressants and blood pressure medicine.

Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Gum Disease

Periodontal gum disease is the silent killer when it comes to your oral health. It is often painless and therefore it is important that you recognize the signs and symptoms of gum disease.

•  Receding gums - Gums that are beginning to recede or pull away from the tooth may be an indication of gum disease.
•  Irritated gums - Gums that are red, swollen, that bleed or that are tender may be an indication of gum disease.
•  Bad breath - A consistent bad taste in your mouth or bad breath may indicate gum disease.
•  Pus - Visible pus that surrounds the gums and teeth may be an indication of gum disease.
•  Loose teeth - Teeth that unexplainably loosen may indicate gum disease.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Periodontal gum disease is the result of a buildup of bacteria ridden plaque on the teeth. Plaque is the sticky white substance that begins to form on the teeth not long after brushing. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that when left to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums can cause a slew of problems.

The body's immune system sends out cells to ward off the bacteria, which actually cause damage to the gums, the periodontal ligaments and the alveolar bone. The result is red, swollen, tender gums that bleed often. This damage if left unchecked will eventually result in the loosening of teeth, which ultimately leads to tooth loss.

Can I Prevent Periodontal Gum Disease?

The good news is that periodontal gum disease is preventable. By practicing proper oral hygiene you can greatly decrease your odds of developing gum disease. Brushing at least twice daily (ideally after each meal), flossing daily, drinking adequate amounts of water, limiting sugary and acidic foods, and going in for regular routine checkups can all decrease your odds of developing gum disease.

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Steven Southard DDS, MS
Midwest Periodontics
1006 W St Maartens Dr, Suite A
St Joseph, MO 64506

(816) 207-4005

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Midwest Periodontics, 1006 W St Maartens Dr, St Joseph, MO, 64506-2967 - Related Phrases: Periodontist St Joseph MO• Dental Implants St Joseph MO• (816) 207-4005•• 11/1/2017