Do your gums bleed when you brush? You may have gingivitis, a reversible, mild form of bacteria-caused periodontal disease. Untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis with unpredictable rapidity, attacking gums, periodontal ligaments, and supporting bone structure.
Certain factors predictably increase the risk of developing periodontal disease: tobacco use, systemic diseases such as diabetes, some medications including steroids and oral contraceptives, pregnancy, improperly fitting bridges or partials, crooked crowded teeth, and defective fillings.
It is possible to suffer from periodontitis and not be aware of its presence until tissues and bones are severely damaged. Pain is not always the first symptom. Look for these signs: bleeding, tenderness, redness, or swelling in the gums, gums pulling away from teeth, loose or shifting teeth, change in the fit of partial dentures, change in the way teeth come together when biting, and/or constant bad breath or bad taste.
Periodontitis can be addressed non-surgically through regular professional (periodontal-therapy) cleanings and non-invasive therapies.
If you do have periodontitis, never grow lax. Everyday factors like stress, fatigue, poor nutrition, and illness can influence the health of your gums. Regular exams and professional cleanings are key in prevention, early detection, and maintenance, and they are typically supported 80-100% by dental insurance contracts!
Protect your health! Periodontal disease is not just about gums and teeth. Research connects periodontitis with a significantly increased risk of heart disease, artery blockage, stroke, stomach ulcers, diabetes, pre-term delivery, low birth-weight babies, and bacterial pneumonia.