Gum disease is a broad term that encompasses several variations of moderate to severe gum problems. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are among the most common types of gum disease, and there are many others.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is caused when excessive plaque accumulates on teeth. Certain toxins that are caused by the plaque then irritate nearby gum tissue, which can lead to puffy, red, or bleeding gums.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a type of infection that is caused by certain types of bacteria that are present in accumulated plaque. Periodontal disease often begins with gingivitis, which progresses into the more serious and less treatable periodontal disease.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are a wide variety of potential warning signs of gum disease, which can vary depending on the severity and specific type of gum disease. Some symptoms of gum disease that are often seen include:
- Red or puffy gums
- Tender, painful gums
- Bleeding gums, particularly when brushing, flossing or eating
- Tooth separation from gums
- Bad breath
Preventing and Treating Gum Disease
Proper tooth care is the first line of defense against gum disease. Most types of gum disease can be prevented through adequate brushing and flossing, and using fluoride rinse or other mouthwash can also help to reduce the risk of gum disease. Eating a healthy diet can also help to prevent gum disease. Minimizing sugar, in particular, is one of the most helpful dietary choices as far as eliminating as much plaque buildup as possible.
Severe cases of gum disease may require professional dental treatment, such as:
- Prescription medications
- Root planing and scaling
- Gum grafts
At Blue Ash Dental Group, we care about giving you the tools to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Contact us today to learn more about gingivitis, periodontal disease, or other types of gum disease, or to schedule an appointment!