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Gum Disease – The Painless Problem

Gum disease, more officially known as periodontitis, affects roughly 47% of adults over 30. Shockingly, by the age of 65, it climbs to roughly 70% of the population.

Periodontitis begins as plaque buildup along the gum lines. If you fail to maintain a healthy smile, the bacteria begins to build up causing your gums to inflame. Once they are inflamed, you officially have gingivitis. Left untreated, that gingivitis will spread deeper and begin to affect the deeper tissues supporting your teeth. Once that happens, your gum tissue will begin to pull away from your teeth, and gingivitis officially becomes periodontitis.

Periodontitis is dangerous because it allows bacteria to grow deep inside your gum tissue, leading to tooth loss and bone degradation. It also makes it more likely that you will develop heart disease, and has been linked to causing or worsening Type 2 Diabetes.

However, poor dental hygiene isn’t the only cause. There are several contributing factors. Pregnancy, diabetes, and high levels of stress can aid in the development of gingivitis, as well as smoking or chewing tobacco. If you’re one to grind your teeth in your sleep, that can contribute to gingivitis as well.

Keep in mind that pain is rarely a symptom of gingivitis. Several other symptoms lead as indicators, including red gums, bleeding gums, a receding gum line, loose teeth, sores, and even persistent bad breath.
If you have noticed a few of these symptoms and are worried, make sure to ask your friendly Valencia dentist for advice. Gingivitis is treatable; it simply requires a deeper cleaning (called ‘scaling’), and potentially X-rays.

If you feel you are at risk, you can help prevent the development of gingivitis by brushing twice a day, flossing or picking, using mouthwash twice daily, and seeing your friendly Valencia dentist regularly.