Gum disease, though it affects more than 80% of our population, often takes its victims by surprise. The signs and symptoms can be easily overlooked, and many patients are unaware of the damage that is taking place in their bodies.
As is the case with most diseases, awareness and early detection can be your best defenses against gum disease. Patients who suspect that they may have gum disease in Dallas should schedule an appointment with Dr. Beth Tomlin, an experienced periodontist, for a thorough evaluation and any necessary treatment.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, and formerly referred to as pyorrhea, is often difficult to detect in the very earliest stages. Since this disease is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, plaque accumulation at and below the gum line generally causes the first signs of trouble. When plaque bacteria are not removed by brushing and flossing, the body’s immune system is unable to fight off the bacteria’s toxic byproducts.
Though it may be ineffective, the body’s immune response is triggered by the bacteria, and some common symptoms may be observed:
- Inflammation (Redness of the gums, tenderness, and bleeding are all signs of acute inflammation. Patients may notice increased bleeding during brushing and flossing.)
- Bad taste or smell (The bacteria that live in the oral cavity are known to generate byproducts that have an unpleasant odor. As the bacteria travel far below the gumline, patients are unable to remove them by brushing, flossing, mouthrinses, or gums.)
- Bone loss (Dental x-rays and periodontal evaluations are necessary to detect the earliest signs of bone loss. Once significant bone loss has occurred, patients may begin to notice gum recession and/or loose teeth.)
Gum disease is an infection that can affect the entire body. Although it begins as a quiet infection of the gums and bone, untreated periodontal disease can weaken your immune system, contribute to cardiovascular disease, cause complications for diabetics, and even cause complications during pregnancy.
Contact the office of Dr. Tomlin today to learn about your risk for this disease and to discuss any symptoms that you may have noticed.