Gum Disease = Serious Infection
Comfort Dental recognizes the importance of gum health. Dr. Brucken & Dr. Stubbs, and our hygienists, ARE DEDICATED to the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
The impact of this infection goes beyond your mouth. Active infection anywhere in the body has the potential to enter the bloodstream, compromising overall health.
Unlike an infected wound on your hand or foot, gum infections can progress WITHOUT pain. No pain means that some individuals with gum disease can unknowingly allow the infection to develop into more advance stages.
This progression without pain happened to Whoopi Goldberg, who is well known for the following video. She does a great job of explaining just how serious gum infection is and the impact to overall health.
You may also hear gum disease referred to as periodontal disease. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It all begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontal disease. With time, plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.
How periodontal disease often silently progresses:
- Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums.
- The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed.
- Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected.
- As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed.
- Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the gum disease & include the following:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Puss between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Periodontal disease – and the harmful affects to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth – can be controlled. Improvement to our patients’ overall health is often dramatically improved.
The health improvement is easy to appreciate when you consider living with an active bacterial infection, easily exposed to one’s bloodstream, can have a detrimental affect beyond the harm to the tooth and gums.
Comfort Dental is here to help you get ahead of potential gum disease. If you have gum disease symptoms our dentists and hygienists will help you get mouth healthy! Remember gum disease addressed early can be reversed – and gum disease addressed later can be controlled. Getting the gum infection under control will improve your overall health!
Please let us know if you have additional questions. We are here to help!