At least 75% of people have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection in the gum tissue. This is a problem that needs to be checked for or it can be missed. The types of screening we do to evaluate for gum disease include x-rays that show the bone and measurements of the gums. Healthy gums should be right up against the tooth, much like the cuticle around the nail, tight against the nail and healthy. There is new evidence that shows that leaving a chronic infection in your body causes an increase in heart attack and puts stress on the kidneys, lungs and heart. Gum disease is not only an oral health problem, it is an overall body problem. Your mouth makes up only 5% of your body but it is responsible for taking care of the other 95%. So if there is an infection it should be taken care of.
Signs of gum disease:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled back from or receded from the teeth
- Plaque build-up on teeth
- Bad taste or bad breath
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Overly sensitive to hot or cold
- Changes in bite
When we evaluate for gum disease, we take a measurement of the space between the gums and the tooth. Typically, any measurement of 3mm or more is a sign of gum disease. As we perform this exam we will also look for signs of bleeding, puffy or red gums. We will also look for bone loss on your x-rays. If we find signs of gum disease, we will recommend treatment to help improve the health of your gums and minimize bone loss. Gum disease is treatable and preventable.
Ways to prevent gum disease:
- Brush and floss daily
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Avoid sticky sweets
- Brush before bed
- Have routine examinations and cleanings
Our goal is to help you keep your teeth for your entire life. We want you to be infection and pain free.
If you have fallen behind on your cleaning schedule and it has been some time since you have been to the dentist, do not worry. We will take a look and get you caught back up with the appropriate cleaning procedure.