In this article we take a look at the two forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. We offer a list of signs and symptoms that may be present when this condition occurs and what you can do to prevent the development of gum disease.

The leading cause of tooth loss in the United States is gum (periodontal) disease. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease and if left untreated, you run the risk of developing a great deal of health issues, both oral and general. Chicago dental implant experts explain that the keys to healthy teeth are healthy gums and a sound oral healthcare regime. Your gums protect the base of your teeth, where connective tissue secures them to the supporting jaw bone. In this article, we will look at the two types of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis – as well as explain what can be done to prevent or treat gum disease.

Gum Disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis

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The initial form of gum disease is gingivitis, and this occurs when bacteria develop and collect in pockets at the gum line, causing irritation and inflammation. The most common symptoms related to gingivitis are red and inflamed gums, bleeding when brushing your teeth and persistent bad breath (halitosis). If you leave gingivitis untreated, the inflammation and can invade your connective tissue and even bone, leading to infection and the development of periodontitis; the most severe from of gum disease.

Gum Disease: Symptoms of Periodontitis

Periodontitis is typically quite uncomfortable and causes a host of undesirable symptoms. Leaving this condition untreated will cause you to lose your teeth and puts the rest of your body at risk of other health problems, including heart disease, respiratory disease and stroke. Some of the symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Receding gums
  • Inflammation and discomfort along the gum line
  • Red, swollen and bleeding gums
  • Tenderness of the gums
  • Persistent and lasting sensitivity to temperatures (hot and cold)
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Painful oral abscesses
  • Persistent bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth

Gum Disease: Prevention

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It is unfortunate that most people only notice the symptoms of periodontitis when it is too late to totally reverse the damage. This is why All-On-Four dentures specialists in Chicago recommend going for a general dental check-up at least twice a year. Your dentist will give you a thorough oral examination and spot warning signs early enough to treat and indeed reverse any damage that may have already been caused. With the help of the incredible modern technology available today in the form of dental X-rays and CAT scans, your dentist should be able to give your mouth a comprehensive check-up and ensure that your oral health remains in excellent condition.

The Importance of Early Detection

As we mentioned before, catching gum disease in its early stages is vital not only for your oral health but also for your general health. You can do a lot from home to ensure you keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition. A leading cause of gum disease is simply a lack of a good oral hygiene routine and lifestyle choices such as excessive alcohol intake and smoking.

Chicago dental implant specialists urge that you remember to brush, floss, scrape your tongue and rinse daily as this can go a long way in preventing gingivitis and other oral ailments. Go see your dentist at least twice a year and ask him/her about what further measures you can take to prevent from developing gum disease and how to maintain proper oral health.