5 Scary Truths About Gum Disease (And 1 Amazing Solution)
Some people think dentists only worry about teeth. Sure, that’s a major focus for our Millburn, NJ dental office. However, dentists also work on your gums. If your gums are healthy, your teeth have a greater chance at being healthy too.
That also means unhealthy gums can cause problems for your teeth. Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is a widespread problem in America. The CDC estimates that almost 50% of Americans have some form of the disease. That’s a big problem because there are a lot of scary truths about gum disease.
What Is Gum Disease?
Simply put, this is when bacteria attack your gums instead of your teeth. The same bacteria behind tooth decay can cause gum disease. There are two stages to this disease:
Gingivitis is the early stage. Bacteria are living on the surface of your gums. They secrete acid, which irritates and hurts your gum tissue.
Periodontitis is the later stage. The bacteria have gotten into your gum tissues. You have a real bacterial infection.
How do you get it? Mostly though neglect. Bacteria thrive on food left behind after you eat and drink. If you don’t take care of your mouth, you could very well have gum disease.
The Scary Truths About Gum Disease
Is gum disease that bad? Read these facts and decide for yourself.
Your gums can darken and even bleed. When you have gingivitis, your gums are being irritated and hurt. That’s why you might be bleeding after brushing and flossing The gums are damaged and easy to cut even with a toothbrush. This irritation can also bring out a dark red color, making your gums look awful.
Your breath can smell bad all the time. All of that damage and irritation kills the cells in your gum tissue. To put it bluntly, they start to rot. That creates a foul smell which can make your breath smell bad. Mints and toothpaste can help for a little but. Since your gums are starting to rot, that smell will keep coming back.
The bacterial infection can spread to other parts of your body. If the bacteria get into your gums with periodontitis, you have a bacterial infection there. The bacteria can slip into your bloodstream and then spread all over your body. Your immune system will take care of most of the bacteria, but chances are, you’ll get an infection somewhere else.
You can have it without realizing it. Some of the symptoms of gum disease are easy to spot. It’s hard not to notice when your gums are bleeding. However, every case is unique. You might just have gums that get a bit tender now and then. Such minor symptoms are easy to ignore and explain away, giving the disease more time to spread.
Your gums will recede, and your teeth can fall out. As the disease grows worse, your gums start to pull away from your teeth. This exposes parts of your teeth that should be covered. But it also makes your teeth loose. Without the gums helping hold the teeth there, they become easier to knock out. If gum disease is not treated, your teeth will eventually fall out.
If it advances to periodontitis, it’s permanent. Once the bacteria behind all of these problems gets into your gum tissues, there’s not much you can do. Periodontitis (the advanced form of the disease) can be managed, but it can never be fully removed.
Laser Gum Disease Treatment
At our Millburn, NJ dental office, we have several ways to treat gum disease. We can perform a special deep cleaning treatment called root planing and scaling. This gets rid of bacteria, plaque, and tartar that can cause gingivitis.
One amazing new treatment is our LANAP. It stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. In many cases, the only way to stop gum disease from getting bigger is to remove the infected gum tissue.
Dr. Krosser will use a special dental laser to eliminate diseased gum tissue. By using a specific wavelength, the laser will painlessly remove infected tissue while leaving alone healthy tissue. You can get rid of the infection and still have your healthy gums left alone.
If your gums are bleeding after you brush, or if they are a bit tender and sore, you might have gum disease. Call us today at (973) 957-1604 for your next appointment.