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What is Periodontal Disease? Should I Be Worried About It?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease refers to the inflammation and infection of the gums that surround and support the teeth. An infection in the gums can lead to gum recession as well as unsupported teeth that may loosen, fall out, or cause bone loss.

Early on, gums may become red, swollen, and bleed, this is the beginning of gum disease and it is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated or addressed properly, then periodontitis will occur.

The CDC reports that 47.2% of adults 30 years and older have some level of periodontal disease. As you age, the chances of getting periodontal disease increases. Adults age 65 years and older have a 70.1% chance of having some degree of periodontal disease, according to CDC research. Gum disease is more common in men than women, but anyone is at risk.

Poor dental hygiene puts you at risk for gum disease, but there are many symptoms that pop up that point towards periodontal disease. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about treatments and what you can do to prevent further gum decay.

Symptoms include:
• Bad breath
• Red or swollen gums
• Tender or bleeding gums
• Painful chewing
• Loose teeth
• Sensitive teeth

These symptoms are serious and some of them point to severe periodontal disease. See a dentist to get a referral to a periodontist who specializes in gum disease, and who will know exactly how to treat you.

There are many factors that put you at a higher risk for gum disease. These include:
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Poor oral hygiene
• Stress
• Heredity
• Dry mouth

If you experience any of these issues, or multiple, speak to your dentist about what you can do to protect your teeth, such as brushing and flossing everyday as well as attending regular checkups.

Gum disease is a serious problem that many don’t address until too late. Get your gums checked before serious dental procedures are needed.