HealthyPeriodontal-teeth_duel_image-e1441994700654 Everyone knows that visiting the dentist every six months is considered a standard – but few people know why, apart from cleaning your teeth, this visitation schedule is so important. One of the main reasons for seeing a dentist regularly is to prevent periodontal disease, or as it’s more commonly known as, gum disease.

What is gum (periodontal) disease?

Gum disease is the inflammation (and, eventually, infection) of the tissue around the teeth, most notably the gums. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, starts out by causing the gums to become red and swollen, and may also cause bleeding of the gums. If it addressed quickly and treated, the disease can subside. If left untreated, however, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that can eventually lead to infection and loose teeth that need to be removed.

What causes gum disease?

Your mouth contains many millions of bacterial cells that combine with mucus and food particles to form plaque and tartar, which are coatings on the teeth and gums. These substances are removed through regular brushing and flossing. However, if they are not removed regularly, they can cause harmful effects that include the symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis.

healthy-gumsrecessive-gums_duel_image What are the symptoms?

Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, bleeding gums. You may also experience chronic halitosis (bad breath), and pain or tenderness in the gums while chewing. Periodontitis is much more serious because once the gum disease advances to this point, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. This process causes small gaps or “pockets” between the gums and the teeth, which can fill with even more bacteria and become infected as a result. This will cause heavily increased bleeding, redness, and swelling, as well as loose and sensitive teeth.

What are the health risks of having gum disease?

As your body reacts to the bacterial infections, the natural enzymes of your immune system will begin to break down your teeth, leading to loose teeth that may need to be extracted. The infection in your mouth may also spread to other areas of the body if left untreated. Furthermore, studies show that gum disease may also increase the risk of heart disease in some patients.

animated_gum-diseasetartarWhat are methods of prevention and treatment?

Preventing gum disease comes down to brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, visiting the dentist on a regular basis, and avoiding activities that may trigger gum disease such as smoking and chewing tobacco. You can usually treat gum disease with a variety of medications, and the disease need not be serious if it is caught early on.

If you’re experiencing any of the above-listed symptoms or simply wish to make a cleaning appointment as a preventative measure of gum disease, contact Esthetix Dental Spa in New York City at (212) 795-9675. We can address your concerns and discuss possible treatment and/or preventative options regarding your oral health.

*We are currently running a special promotion for gum disease treatments. Regularly at $1,200, we are reducing our treatment price down to $1,100 all throughout October 2015. Call us today to make your appointment and strike while the iron is hot!