What Causes Gum Disease?
While there are a handful of factors that can lead to gum disease, poor oral hygiene is easily the most common cause. When plaque isn’t cleaned from the gumline, it interacts with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid that inflames and infects your gums. If this issue isn’t treated, it can lead to serious gum damage, bone loss, and missing teeth as well as numerous overall health problems. Also, your risk of gum disease can increase due to genetics, tobacco use, and autoimmune disorders.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease?
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. If it’s caught at this stage, it can be completely reversed through positive oral healthcare and regular dental visits. That’s why it’s important to recognize and understand these common warning signs:
- Tender or puffy gums
- Red or bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Change in bite
- Teeth that appear longer
The Importance of Healthy Gums
Gum disease can cause permanent damage to your supportive tissue, bone structure, and even tooth loss. However, the issues it can lead to unfortunately don’t stop there. Recent studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of heart-related problems like cardiovascular disease and heart attack by 20%. It can also raise your risk of diabetes, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Gum Disease Therapy
At The Castleberry Center, we offer expert gum disease therapy to help our patients get their oral health back on track. Dr. Castleberry, your expert dentist in Houston, uses a treatment called scaling and root planing (also called a deep cleaning) to treat gum disease. First, he will scale your teeth to remove any harmful plaque or bacteria that is on or beneath the gum line. After, for the root planing portion, he will reach under your gums to smooth out your tooth roots. This makes it harder for plaque and bacteria to collect under your gums. While this procedure may sound uncomfortable, we will ensure that you’re numb and relaxed before starting treatment!
Gum Disease Prevention
Thankfully, many of the issues discussed above can be completely avoided. Your everyday brushing and flossing routine is your primary defense against gum disease, but you can also add a nonalcoholic mouthwash for extra protection. Additionally, you should visit our office for routine checkups and cleanings to ensure that warning signs of gum disease are caught early. You can also avoid activities that increase your risk of gum disease like tobacco use and heavy consumption of alcohol.