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What is Gum Disease?

Diagram of a normal tooth and a tooth with periodontal disease used by Boise dentist at Water's Edge Dental.Taking good care of your mouth is essential for keeping it healthy. To keep your mouth healthy, it is important that you brush and floss your teeth every day and have your mouth professionally cleaned and examined every 6 months. When you ignore your oral hygiene or even only occasionally skip out on your routine, your risk for developing gum disease increases significantly. If you do develop gum disease, Water's Edge Dental can help.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a progressive oral health condition. It first begins as a result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. Bacteria cause the gum tissue to become irritated and inflamed. You may also notice that your gums bleed when you brush and floss. Without treatment, gum disease only gets worse. Ultimately, you may be faced with gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Gum disease can also contribute to serious health issues such as respiratory complications, heart disease, and diabetes.

What Causes Gum Disease?

There are several issues that can lead to gum disease. These issues include:
•  Poor oral hygiene. This is one of the leading causes of gum disease. When you do not brush or floss properly, plaque and bacteria can accumulate, irritating your gums.
•  Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth provide hiding places for plaque and bacteria. These spaces are harder to clean properly.
•  Using tobacco products. These products make plaque sticker, allowing more bacteria to accumulate easily.
•  Dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, bacteria can multiply easier. Dry mouth occurs when there is not enough saliva in your mouth.

How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?

There are numerous symptoms that can point toward gum disease. These symptoms include:
•  Gums that are red and swollen. These are the earliest symptoms of gum disease, and occur because the bacteria irritate your gums.
•  Bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth.
•  Chronic bad breath. Chronic bad breath occurs because bacteria, food particles, and other debris get trapped below your gum line.
•  Gum recession. Infected gum tissue eventually begins to die off, causing gum recession. This causes your teeth to appear longer. You may also notice spaces beginning to appear between your teeth.
•  Tooth sensitivity. As your tooth roots become exposed, you may notice that your teeth begin to feel sensitive, particularly to foods that are hot or cold.
•  Loose teeth. The bacteria below your gums eventually begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. This causes these structures to weaken. Your teeth become loose and wobbly. You may notice changes in your bite as well.
•  Tooth loss.

Treatments for Gum Disease

When gum disease develops, treatment is needed right away. The type of treatment you receive will depend significantly upon how advanced your specific condition is. Treatments for gum disease include:
•  Scaling and root planing. This is a minimally invasive, non-surgical deep cleaning of your teeth.
•  Periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance may be recommended if your mouth still needs additional help healing.
•  Pocket reduction surgery. This is a surgical procedure that helps to clean your teeth when your pockets are too deep.
•  Osseous surgery. This procedure is done when the bone is affected by gum disease.
•  Regenerative procedures, such as soft tissue and bone grafting.

As soon as you notice symptoms of gum disease, it is important to seek dental treatment. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Water's Edge Dental at (208) 375-0572 today.
Water’s Edge Dental
6657 N. Glenwood Street, Boise, ID 83714
(208) 375-0572

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