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Posted on 03-13-2017

What Are the Causes & Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Many adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. Periodontal disease can range from mild inflammation around the teeth to advanced gum disease called periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss. As a dentist in San Diego, Dental Design SD is committed to educating patients and catching and treating periodontal disease as early as possible.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria.  These bacteria help us break down our foods and keep our mouths healthy. These bacteria, along with food particles and mucus, form a plaque on our teeth. This plaque is easily removed by frequent brushing and flossing.  Any plaque that isn't removed can harden into a tartar which is a hard substance that only a dental professional can remove. 

In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Proper, routine dental care combined with a schedule of daily brushing and flossing is usually enough to reverse gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis will progress to periodontitis where the gums pull away from the teeth and pockets form which become infected. The immune system kicks into high gear to fight this infection, which combined with the effects of bacteria growth, cause the bone and tissues which hold the teeth in place to break down. Advanced in office treatment is necessary to treat periodontitis.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

One of the first symptoms of gum disease is tender and bleeding gums. As inflammation begins, you might notice some sore spots or some blood when you brush your teeth. As the disease progresses you may notice persistent bad breath, painful chewing, and/or red gums that appear to be receding. People who smoke, have diabetes or take certain medications are at greater risk for periodontal disease. Early treatment is key to preventing tooth loss. 

Visit Your San Diego Dentist!

Dental Designs SD is your San Diego dentist. Our office, located in Sorrento Valley, is open Monday through Friday to serve you. If you have any concerns about your oral health, contact us to discuss your symptoms and make an appointment for a consultation.

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