In this four-part article series, a panel of dental implant surgeon provides us with an in-depth understanding of gum disease, which is one of the most common illnesses affecting American society today.
Gum disease is one of the most common ailments affecting the residents of Sun City West and, in fact, the entirety of North America. According to the Center for Disease Control (the CDC), a staggering 8 out of 10 Americans have gum problems, which may range from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis. Both are forms of gum disease that, without treatment by a trained dental professional and improved oral hygiene, could eventually lead to tooth loss.
Many of the key problems behind these statistics are bad lifestyle choices like drug abuse, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. But the predominant culprits are simply ignorance and a lack of proper oral hygiene. You don’t need to lead a hedonistic lifestyle to develop gum disease and many Sun City West residents have learned this the hard way.
And so, in an effort to abolish ignorance, this four-part article series is geared at helping our readers better understand gum disease: what it is, what it’s caused by, the various symptoms we should all be on the lookout for and what treatment entails. Our advice is supplied by some of Sun City West’s most respected dental implant surgeons, who routinely address the damage done by this nefarious dental health issue.
Without further ado, let’s get started with the first question on everybody’s lips…
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
All too often we leave medical conditions and problems until we can no longer tolerate the symptoms. By this stage, of course, the problem has likely become advanced and more complex and costly to treat. This is precisely the case with gum disease, which initially may not present with very painful or obvious symptoms.
“Many of the patients we treat for gum disease only actually book an appointment with their dental healthcare professional after the disease has become advanced,” explains a Sun City West dental implant surgeon. “This is because gum disease seldom causes pain or discomfort in its early stages. It can quite easily be ignored and because most people don’t go for their bi-annual dental appointments as they should, the disease goes undiagnosed and untreated for far longer than it should.”
The first step in combatting gum disease is spreading awareness of its symptoms, which – you’ll be surprised to learn – are far more common than we’d like to think. In fact, chances are you may have (now or in the past) been personally acquainted with one or more of them…
The Symptoms of Gum Disease
And so, to answer the question stated above, you may have gum disease if you have noticed one or more of the following symptoms:
• Gums that are red and inflamed: healthy gums are pink in color.
• Swollen gums that may appear to be encroaching on the crowns of the teeth, making them look smaller and shorter.
• Gums that bleed easily when brushing, flossing or even biting into tough, fibrous foods.
• The appearance of a swollen “tear-drop” shaped bulb of gum tissue between each tooth.
• Persistent bad breath (halitosis) that returns shortly after brushing.
• The visible appearance of yellowish or even grey deposits of plaque, tartar and other calculus on and between the teeth.
In the advanced stages of gum disease, some of the following additional symptoms may become evident:
• A persistent foul taste in the mouth that returns shortly after brushing.
• Moderate to severe tooth discoloration.
• The unnatural recession of the gums from the crowns of the teeth, possibly even exposing the roots of the teeth, which can lead to tooth sensitivity.
• Tender, sensitive gums.
• Oral lesions and sores that come and go.
• Teeth that feel loose and ultimately, tooth loss.
“We want everyone to know that without treatment and an improvement in lifestyle and oral hygiene, gum disease will cause you to lose all of your natural teeth,” warns our panel of Sun City dental implant dentists.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
To find out more about gum disease and why it poses such a health risk to Sun City West residents, stay tuned for the second installment of this four-part article series.