Out of 100 people, 80 have gum disease, which can take many forms depending on how long it has had to develop. In the early stage, it’s called gingivitis, and can often be reversed if preventive treatment is sought early enough. Yet, as gingivitis develops, there may be no noticeable symptoms present to warn you of it. Over time, the disease progresses, causing bad breath, red, tender, swollen gums, and bleeding while brushing teeth. Pockets of bacteria form at the gum line as the gum tissues recede. Without treatment, gum disease can escalate to cause loose teeth or tooth loss, as well as jawbone deterioration. In fact, gum disease is the main cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum DiseaseSome medications and lifestyle habits, like smoking, can increase your risk for developing gum disease. However, the primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene and a lack of adequate dental care.

Everyone has good and bad oral bacteria, which congregate and form films of sticky dental plaque. If you don’t brush and floss daily, and see your hygienist for a dental cleaning every six months, plaque will build up on and between your teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, or calculus. This irritates the gums, and as bacteria begin to grow and thrive, your gums become red and tender. The bacteria eat away the bond that holds gums to teeth, and pockets form at the gum line. There, bacteria continue to breed, and bacterial infection worsens.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

Regular checkups and cleanings, combined with daily brushing and flossing, will reduce your risk of developing gum disease. However, should you become one of the 80% of Americans who have gum disease, we will recommend you undergo a periodontal cleaning as soon as possible.

The procedure involves removing tartar (hardened plaque) from below the gum line, then smoothing rough areas on the roots of teeth. Plaque often builds up on rough areas, and by removing them, we’ll reduce your risk of plaque buildup below your gum line.

In some situations, antibiotics are advised to combat bacterial infection. After your deep cleaning, you’ll return every three months (or as often as advised) so that we can track your treatment’s progression. For periodontitis, the most severe form of gum disease, we may refer you to a periodontist for periodontal surgery.

protect your smile and your health from gum disease

All gum disease needs to threaten your oral and overall health is for you to do nothing. To find out if you have gum disease, or how you can prevent it, schedule an examination with your dentist soon. Call our dental office in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930. We proudly serve the residents of Syosset, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and all surrounding New York City communities.