What is Gum Disease?

In Blog, Dental Care, Dental Health by Scott

Manhattan Gum Disease | Upper East Side Dental Office

West Village Cosmetic DentistWe hear a lot about gum disease, but what is it, really? The truth is the signs of periodontal disease can be very subtle, so it's important to see our Manhattan cosmetic dentist regularly for check ups. If you have red, swollen or tender gums, you should definitely make an appointment. Other noticeable symptoms include gums that bleed when you brush, bad breath, receding gums, loose or shifting teeth, or pockets between gums. These may be signs that you have gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis is gum inflammation, where bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to be inflamed and irritated. Left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. At this stage, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets where debris can collect. It can become infected, and the body’s immune system starts to fight the bacteria as it grows beneath the gum line. Toxins start to break down the bone, and the teeth are no longer anchored in place.  Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. 

In addition to regular visits to your dentist, proper plaque control can prevent and reverse gum disease. Proper habits include professional cleanings at least twice a year, and daily brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association also recommends antibacterial mouth rinses that can reduce bacteria that cause plaque. Visit our dental office if you see any of the signs of gingivitis or gum disease.