Gum Disease: Michiana’s Silent Epidemic

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Gum disease is Michiana’s silent epidemic. You could currently be suffering from it and not even realize it. Most people will suffer from it at some point in their lives.

If left untreated, gum disease can cause many issues with your oral health. Your teeth may begin to bleed. Your breath may suffer. Your teeth may even begin to loosen and fall out. But the threat caused by gum disease may not end at your smile.

Recent university studies have linked gum disease to other serious health conditions. Sufferers of gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer than the general population.

So what can you do about? At Tulip Tree Dental Care in South Bend, IN, we offer non-surgical gum disease treatment and preventive treatment. But the fight against gum disease starts with education.

So in today’s post of our dental health blog we’re going to look at several aspects of gum disease. We’ll describe the cause of gum disease as well as its signs and symptoms. Then we’ll look at how gum disease can be treated. Let’s get started!

The Cause of Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused when plaque infects the tissue of your gums. Plaque is a sticky and acidic bacteria that is also responsible for tooth decay. Every time you take a bite of food, or a drink of your favorite beverage, bacteria is left behind on your gums. This bacteria then turns into a sticky film of plaque.

Plaque is both common and unavoidable. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth removes most plaque from your teeth and gums. But some plaque is impossible to reach on your own without professional help. When this plaque penetrates your gumline, it causes the inflammation known as gum disease.

The Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease begins as gingivitis. At this stage in the disease’s life cycle, you might not notice any signs or symptoms of gum disease. But untreated gum disease can eventually cost you your teeth and smile if it’s not treated quickly enough. For this reason, the American Dental Association recommends having your teeth cleaned and examined every six months.

If gum disease is allowed to progress, certain signs and symptoms may become noticeable. Instead of a healthy pink color, your gums may look red. Your gums may feel swollen and tender to touch. You may notice that your gums have become prone to bleeding when you brush your teeth.

Eventually, gum disease will create pockets of plaque on your gumline. Your teeth may begin to separate and recede from your gums. This can cause your teeth to loosen and shift out of place. Without treatment, it’s not uncommon for advanced gum disease to cause your teeth to actually fall out of your gums.

Treatment for Gum Disease

In it’s earliest stages, gum disease is completely treatable and even reversible. Gingivitis can sometimes be cured by a routine dental cleaning. During a dental cleaning, a hygienist uses specialized ultrasonic tools to remove plaque buildups from your teeth and the surface of your teeth.

If your gum disease has progressed, Dr. Hurcomb may recommend a procedure commonly called a deep cleaning. This procedure, more precisely known as scaling and root planing, is non-surgical and not painful. During a deep cleaning, we careful remove plaque buildups from beneath your gumline. We then reshape the roots of your teeth to allow them to reach to your gums. If a non-surgical gum disease treatment is not enough to treat your gum disease, Dr. Hurcomb may refer you to an oral surgeon for further treatment.

Make An Appointment

Don’t let gum disease ruin your smile! Have you noticed any potential signs or symptoms of gum disease? Or has it simply been more than six months since the last time you had your teeth cleaned? If you answered yes to either question, we urge you to schedule an appointment at our comfortable and modern office. You can schedule an appointment at Tulip Tree Dental Care by filling out this online form or calling us at 574-208-5668.

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