Properly caring for your smile begins at the foundation, meaning your gum tissue. When your gums are not healthy, they can’t provide the rest of your maxillofacial structure with the stability it needs. Today, our Saint Louis dentists are talking about the threat of gum disease—how it manifests, and what you can do about it.
How does gum disease develop?
The same harmful bacteria that invade your teeth to cause cavities, can also infiltrate your oral tissues and lead to gum disease. Bacteria love to feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates; they use these substances as fuel to grow and multiply. While the bacteria in your mouth get stronger, your immune system has a more difficult time beating oral infections.
How do I tell if I have gum disease?
Once your oral tissues are infected you may notice that your gum tissue becomes swollen, red, and irritated. You will likely find that your gums bleed when you floss your smile or when you eat crunchy, abrasive foods. Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of gum disease is chronic, hard-to-treat bad breath.
If you feel like your smile is changing, and you are dealing with any of these symptoms, it is best to reach out to your dentist for an assessment. When periodontal disease is left untreated it only becomes more severe; it can even cause the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place to weaken.
How do I treat gum disease?
There are a few primary goals when it comes to treating gum disease. Our team wants to diminish the number of bacteria in your mouth, while simultaneously promoting your body’s natural healing ability. Depending on the current state of your smile, our team may recommend that you use specific tools or formulations to clean your smile at home, as well as undergo frequent professional cleanings to clear away plaque and tartar.
Our Saint Louis gum disease dentists are here to answer your questions, and to get you started on your way to oral health. Give us a call!