According to periodontists in Montreal, periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. What makes the problem difficult to treat is that most people who have gum disease experience very few symptoms in its early stages.
What Causes Gum Disease?
It starts when bacteria collect between the teeth and along the gum line. As bacteria multiply, they produce toxins that cause the gums to recede from the teeth, leaving the tooth more exposed to tartar and plaque. Once bacteria reach the tooth root area, brushing and flossing alone will no longer be able to get rid of them. At this point, gum disease has already advanced and it may result in tooth loss if left untreated.
Signs of Gum Disease
When gum disease is caught early, it is easier and less expensive to treat. This is why dentists always emphasize the importance of seeing a periodontist so that you will be checked for a possible gum problem.
But there are some telltale signs you can watch out for, that can help you determine if you have a gum problem:
- Red, swollen or bleeding gums especially if these symptoms occur when you are flossing and brushing your teeth.
- Chronic bad breath. Some people may also notice a sour taste in the mouth.
- Deep pockets in between the gums and teeth.
- Teeth feel loose or are shifting out of their normal alignment.
- There are changes in the way your mouth feels when you chew or bite.
- Tooth sensitivity when exposed to extreme temperatures such as when you eat hot or cold food.
- Pain when eating.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
People who do not practice proper oral hygiene and fail to have their teeth and gums professionaly cleaned at least twice a year are at risk of developing periodontal disease. But there are also other factors that may cause it to occur, and these are listed below:
- Gum disease runs in your family. If you have a parent, sibling or grandparent with gum disease, it’s important that you get an evaluation from a periodontist.
- Smoking affects circulation and as a result, the gums don’t get sufficient the oxygen and nutrients. When gums aren’t healthy, they can’t ward off infection, making you more susceptible to developing gum disease.
- Since bacteria that cause gum disease feed on sugar, those with diabetes are more prone to developing periodontal disease because they tend to have higher levels of sugar in the mouth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that around 50% of all adults who are at least 30 years old have some level of gum disease ranging from mild to severe. It’s important that you get yourself evaluated by a periodontist to make sure that you get the treatment you need. Without treatment, you could lose your tooth or several teeth, and this can have a significant impact on your self esteem and your overall health.