It is reported that 47% of Americans over 30 have periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. In seniors that number jumps to 70%. Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems today, and it is also one of the most serious. It can culminate in the loss of bone structure and teeth, and even contributes to heart disease and other conditions. How does it get to that point?
Gum disease starts fairly benignly as an inflamed irritation of the gums in response to the presence of bacteria. Gums become tender and bleed easily, but often do not experience pain. This early stage is known as gingivitis.
As the disease progresses, gums start to recede from the teeth. This results in the formation of pockets where plaque accumulates. These are the ideal places for bacteria to grow as they are sheltered from any cleaning efforts the patient makes. Chronic bad breath and a changing bite or loose teeth are other signs of advanced gum disease.
Teeth start to loosen because the bacteria are releasing toxins into deeper gum material and connective tissues, weakening and damaging them. They are also causing bone structures to deteriorate. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss today.
If you have noticed any signs of gum disease or would like to learn about the treatment options available at Turlock Dental Care, please call our Turlock, CA, office today.