Gum Disease

Gum Disease

How Can I Tell if I Have Gum Disease?

When there is inflammation of the gums and it progresses to the bones supporting the teeth, it is considered gum disease. The main cause is the bacteria found in plaque. Once the sticky colorless film called plaque starts to form on your teeth it can be a good place for bacteria to grow and this can cause infection in the gums, teeth, tissue and bone that support the teeth.

Will I know if I develop gum disease?

There are several symptoms associated with gum disease. If you have developed periodontal disease, or gum disease you may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Gums that are puffy, red or bleeding
  • A nasty taste or foul order in your mouth
  • Teeth that shift or are loose for seemingly no reason
  • Receding gums – gums that shrink and make your teeth look taller, or longer

What causes gum disease?

The main cause of most cases of gum disease is plaque. However, there can be many other contributing factors including:

  • Changes in Hormones – puberty, pregnancy, menopause and menstruation can make the gums more sensitive. This can lead to the development of gingivitis.
  • Certain Illnesses – Conditions like cancer and HIV interfere with the body’s ability to fight off disease. Diabetes can also affect how the body uses blood sugar and can be a factor contributing to cavities and gum disease.
  • Medications – Some medications can reduce or dilute the saliva naturally made by the body. This affects the protective layer provided for the teeth and gums and can make a person more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Bad Oral Hygiene – Failing to brush and floss regularly are more likely to develop gingivitis.
  • Tobacco Use – Smoking makes it difficult for the gums to stay healthy as it inhibits the gum’s ability to repair tissue.