Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for adult tooth loss, and one of the largest contributors to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and blood sugar disturbances like diabetes. Gum disease can range from mild (gingivitis that has progressed to early gum and bone loss) to severe (destruction of bone and gum, loss of teeth, and systemic health problems).
Harmful bacteria is generally the cause of gum disease, which is colonized by a lack of proper oral hygiene. There are other aggravating factors such as genetics, tobacco use, immune system and response, bite habits, bacterial overload, dry mouth, developmental concerns (crooked teeth or odd formed teeth), malocclusion (improper bite and tooth positions), and many medications can also increase a patient’s risk of developing periodontal disease.
Gum disease is oftentimes left untreated because the patient is unaware of the problem. Unfortunately, this is because it’s rarely symptomatic until it becomes severe. With deep cleaning methods such as scaling and root planing, more frequent office visits (every 3-4 months), and regular home care, it can be halted.
At Meuselbach Family Dental we highly recommend preventing gum disease through daily brushing, flossing and/or using a Waterpik, frequent professional dental cleanings, and maintaining a healthy diet. If you think you may be showing signs of gum disease, please contact our West Chester office to schedule an appointment with us.