facts about gum disease

The Disturbing Facts about Gum Disease

Dr Devine Gum Disease

facts about gum diseaseServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

You may be a health-conscious person, but are you as scrupulous about your dental health as you are about your overall wellness? This isn’t the case for most people, as gum disease is one of the most widespread chronic diseases in America. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the country. It’s also widespread, affecting half of all Americans over the age of 30, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Family dentists in the Green Hills area of Nashville at Devine Dentistry want to make sure you’re educated about gum disease, including its causes, symptoms, and the threats it can pose to both your oral health and overall health.

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the gums

In the vast majority of cases, this infection develops because of poor oral hygiene. Failing to brush your teeth twice per day and floss daily, as the American Dental Association recommends, can make your mouth a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay. If you fail to brush and floss regularly, and also neglect to visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning as recommended, your risk of gum disease progresses into a more severe stage. The bacteria form into plaque and then harden into tartar, at which point only a professional dental cleaning will remove those deposits. Everyone gets tartar buildup, no matter how well you take care of your teeth and gums at home. This is why twice-yearly dental cleanings are essential! 

Certain pre-existing conditions can make you more susceptible to gum disease, such as diabetes or any other illness or ailment that raises inflammation levels in the body. Pregnant women also face a higher risk of developing gum disease because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. High-stress levels, genetics, and the side effects of certain medications also can lead to gum disease. These harmful bacteria also can be passed from one person to another from sharing eating or drinking utensils, and by kissing on the mouth.

Know the signs of gum disease

Gum disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. In the first stage, gingivitis, the damage still can be reversed by having your teeth cleaned professionally and renewing or maintaining a thorough regimen of at-home oral care. The symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are red, painful, tender or swollen, gums that bleed easily when you brush or have dental work done, or having frequent bad breath.  

If left untreated, gum disease advances from gingivitis to periodontitis. By this point, permanent damage has been done to your oral health. Pockets of bacteria then form between the teeth and gums, where they spread and create pockets that trap bacteria, making it difficult to clean. Continued failure or refusal to seek treatment can lead to receding gums, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.

Treating gum disease in Nashville  

Gum disease is a serious oral health condition. Hoping it will go away on its own is the worst decision you can make. Untreated gum disease can devastate your oral health; it even can threaten your life. Medical research has shown that individuals with periodontal disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular problems.

Devine Dentistry offers several different methods of treating gum disease:

  • Repetitive therapy, a dental deep cleaning that combines scaling and root planing.
  • Laser bacterial removal, which uses a non-cutting laser to vaporize bacteria from the areas of the mouth that are difficult to clean with brushing and flossing.
  • Laser gum surgery, which removes infected gum tissue with far less bleeding, discomfort, and risk for infection than traditional gum surgery.

Gum Disease Treatment in Nashville

Don’t let your gum disease go unnoticed or untreated. Schedule a consultation at Devine Dentistry today by calling (615) 269-4209 if you’re in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, TN.