Gum disease (periodontitis) is the inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. It occurs when gum infections are not treated, or treatment is delayed for too long so the infection can spread from the gums to the ligaments and bone. This is serious, as it loosens the support for teeth and can cause them to fall out, so you really want to catch this at the early stages to avoid permanent damage.
The condition stems from the development of plaque and tartar at the base of the teeth causing gum inflammation. This inflammation traps plaque and tartar in the gum, damaging the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth and causing infection. Although gum disease is common (3 out of 4 Americans are thought to suffer from it), too few people seek treatment and the longer it is left the worse it becomes.
Look out for any of the following symptoms and if you spot any go to your nearest dentist for treatment as soon as you can –
- Tender, swollen or red gums
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad taste in your mouth and bad breath
- Loose teeth
As we know, prevention is better than cure, so to avoid gum disease, brush your teeth in the morning, after every meal and before bedtime. Flossing every day is also very important, as it keeps teeth free from plaque and tartar, so try to incorporate it into your dental routine. Also, stop smoking, improve your diet and reduce stress, as these have all been proved to impact the health of your gums.
Also important is regular visits to the dentist so that the professionals can spot the signs before they get too serious. If necessary, a periodontist or gum disease expert will see you. These specialists use the latest treatments and technologies to treat the problem and regain a healthy mouth and gums.
Please don’t worry if you have lost a tooth to gum disease, you are not alone, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Once your gum disease has been treated we can fit an implant to give you back your winning smile.
If you spot any signs of gum disease, or simply haven’t had a check-up for a while and want to make sure everything is OK, please come and see us in our Marbella dental clinic. Our team of dental professionals in Marbella are experienced in general dentistry and we have experts in periodontics and implants, so we have the right people to help! We are located in central Marbella, near the Gran Melia Hotel, the Palacio de Congresos and the copper tower and we look forward to meeting you.