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Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. Also called periodontal disease, it is frequently caused by a buildup of plaque on teeth. That is one reason why it is so important to practice consistent and effective basic hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing your teeth.

 

Let’s talk plaque. How does it cause gum disease? Plaque is made of bacteria, which coalesce into a sticky film. These living bacteria feed on sugars in your mouth. The bacteria can not only erode teeth through the acids that they produce, but they can also infect the gum tissue, which results in gum disease.

 

There is some symptomology to watch out for which could indicate the presence of gum disease. Some of these symptoms include:

 

–gums that bleed easily

–persistent bad breath

–red, tender, swollen gums

–gums that have pulled away from your teeth

–loose or separating permanent teeth

–a change in your bite pattern

–a change in the fit of your dentures

 

While the most common factor in getting gum disease is poor dental hygiene, other factors can increase your chances of getting periodontal disease. These include taking certain medications (such as steroids, oral contraceptives, and some anti-seizure medications), smoking or using tobacco, being pregnant, having diabetes, crooked teeth, or having a genetic predisposition for gum disease.

 

If you have any of these risk factors, be extra-diligent in your oral hygiene habits, and be sure to visit your periodontist regularly. To schedule an appointment in Lexington, Kentucky, call Bluegrass Periodontics at 859-252-7726.   Dr. Elliot Neuman and our team look forward to helping your whole smile be healthy!