At Overland Park Family Dental, we provide quality preventive and restorative care for the whole family. As part of our mission, we strive to teach our patients about how they can create an effective preventive care routine in their own homes, as many dental conditions can be eliminated or effectively managed through preventive care.
Outside of a good oral healthcare routine, we also work to educate our patients on the warning signs for some common dental issues. After all, the earlier Dr. Gallagher can diagnose and begin treating a particular condition, the better the chances of making a full recovery! Today, we want to talk a little bit about gum disease.
How Does Gum Disease Start?
Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults, so it is incredibly important to take it seriously. Gum disease begins when bacteria build up along your gum line and teeth and turns into plaque, a sticky colorless substance. If plaque is left to harden, it can form into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.
Early Warning Signs
Once plaque and tartar begin to accumulate, they can cause inflammation of your gums. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily when brushing or flossing, these are signs you may be developing gingivitis. If detected early enough, gingivitis can usually be treated and reversed, so make sure you let Dr. Gallagher know as soon as you notice any symptoms.
Unfortunately, gingivitis can advance and develop into periodontitis. At this stage, your gums will begin to pull away from your teeth. This leaves pockets between your tooth and gum that can easily become infected. If an infection develops, it will attack your jawbone and the tissue that holds your teeth in place. In some severe cases, your teeth may become loose and might even have to be removed.
Luckily, gum disease is usually avoidable. Make sure you have a good dental routine, you visit our office regularly, and keep an eye out for any of the warning signs listed above. Contact us to ask our friendly team any other questions about gum disease or to schedule your next appointment.