Gum Disease

Smiles Family Dental

Cosmetic Dentists & Family Dentists located in Arlington, Irving, & Flower Mound, TX

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 47% of adults 30 years and older have some form of gum disease. At Smiles Family Dental, the dedicated team of dental experts diagnose and treat gum disease with tried-and-true techniques and state-of-the-art procedures. By visiting one of their three offices, conveniently located in Arlington, Irving, and Flower Mound, Texas, you can ensure that your gums will stay healthy and disease-free. Begin your journey to better oral health today by calling the office or making an appointment online.

Gum Disease Q & A

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gums that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss, and has also been linked to serious non-oral health complications, such as heart disease, hypertension, strokes, and diabetes.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky, colorless substance that builds up on your teeth when you eat or drink substances that contain sugars and starches. Plaque can be removed by normal brushing and flossing, but if left to build up for too long, plaque can harden beneath your gumline, where it becomes “tartar.” Tartar can only be removed with professional dental cleanings.

Both plaque and tartar are full of bacteria. If plaque and tartar and left to build up, the bacteria in them irritates and ultimately infects your gums, leading to gum disease.

What are the stages of gum disease?

Gum disease occurs in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.

In gingivitis, the bacteria in plaque and tartar irritate your gums, leading them to bleed easily when you brush or floss. At this stage of the disease, there is no lasting damage to your gum tissue or the underlying bone. You can actually reverse the effects of gingivitis with regular dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene. If gingivitis isn’t treated, however, it can develop into periodontitis.

In periodontitis, your irritated gums begin to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of “pockets” between your teeth and gums. These pockets collect debris and bacteria and can become infected, which causes your body’s immune system to fight the infection with antibodies and enzymes.

These enzymes, as well as the bacteria in the plaque and tartar, begin to eat away at the bone and connective tissue holding your teeth in place. This leads to the formation of even deeper pockets, which continue to get infected and deepen. If left untreated, the infection can fully destroy the structures holding your teeth in place, leaving them unanchored and susceptible to falling out.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that are tender, red, or swollen
  • Receding gums, or longer-looking teeth
  • Bleeding in your gums when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that feel loose
  • A change in the way your bite feels when you close your mouth

Gum disease is known to develop “silently,” meaning that its symptoms are sometimes not noticeable until the disease has already progressed into an advanced stage. The team of dental experts at Smiles Family Dental will be able to notice the signs of gum disease in its earlier stages, however, making regular cleanings and checkups absolutely vital to the health of your gums.

Make sure that your gums are healthy. Schedule a visit today with the talented team at Smiles Family Dental by calling the office or using the easy online booking tool.