Your mouth is the gateway to your body. Drs. Shah and Velilla in the Detroit Metro area are passionate about keeping their patients in top health, and often that means making sure the gum tissue is infection free.
The stages of gum disease
Gum disease is progressive. Beginning in its mildest stage as gingivitis and progressing to periodontitis. Gingivitis is indicated by red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. If left untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. If plaque grows below the gum line without treatment, the toxins produced by the bacteria cause an inflammatory response by the body. The gum tissue and bone begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to tooth loss.
What are the risks?
There are several risk factors listed by the American Academy of Periodontology, that include:
Age – 70% of Americans over the age of 65 have periodontitis.
Smoking – This may be one of the most significant risk factors in periodontal disease.
Genetic factors – Despite the best efforts of some, some people are more likely to develop periodontal disease.
Stress – It has been shown that a stressed body has a more difficult time fighting infection.
Medication use – It is vital that your doctors know what medications you are taking. Many medications have side effects that can negatively impact your oral health.
Clenching/grinding teeth – When too much force is being placed on the teeth, the soft tissue can be damaged at a greater rate.
Systemic disease – Systemic diseases like diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease can disrupt the body’s ability to fight inflammatory issues.
Poor diet/obesity – A poor diet means lower immunity. When the body isn’t functioning at its best it can’t fight disease. There are also studies showing a link between obesity and gum disease.
Symptoms of gum disease
The American Academy of Periodontology lists the following as signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer or larger than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
If you experience any of these signs, please don’t hesitate to come in to the office.
What are my options?
The good news is that with Drs. Shah and Velilla can take great care of you. We will do a periodontal exam and develop a personalized treatment plan to get your mouth healthy again. Often treatment includes regular scaling and rootplaning. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed or other antibacterial agents.
If you have any questions about gum disease, or would like to schedule an appointment with your Detroit Metro dentist, Dr. Shah or Dr. Velilla, please contact our Novi dental office today at (248) 427-9003.