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What is gum disease and what are the early signs of it?

Gum disease affects 75 percent of the population, and most of the time is detected around 35 years of age. Periodontal disease implies loss of the bone height supporting the teeth caused by bacteria. This can lead to movement and loss of teeth. Also research has shown that gum disease and heart disease are more often than not connected. It’s a quite affliction, since most of the time there is no pain to warn the patient that something is wrong. Most of the time it starts slowly, but in some cases, it can be quite aggressive. Some symptoms that the patient can look for are bleeding and swelling of the gums, change in position of the teeth, movement or bad breath. Healthy gums should never bleed when brushing or flossing. At each dental hygiene appointment your hygienist checks the health of your gums using a probe that measures the depth of the pockets in the gums, she will let you know if any of them go deeper than 3mm which is the sign for periodontal disease. If so, she or he will recommend you to do your cleanings as often as 3 months in order to avoid accumulation of the bacteria responsible for it. This is a method that helps slow down or even stop the disease from spreading, since there is no cure for it. If a more severe condition is detected, a deeper cleaning is a must, we need to make sure all tartar lodged deeper in the pockets is removed, this appointment will be followed up every 3 months. In these cases, deep cleanings are required once in a while depending on regular hygiene appointments and home care.

Posted in: General Dentistry