Emerging science is proving what dental professionals have long believed – oral health is closely linked with overall health. Many conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer have been associated with gum disease. Longview area residents have trusted their smiles to Clint Bruyere, D.D.S. for nearly 30 years. He believes that preventive care and patient education are crucial elements in good oral health.
In the earliest stages (called Gingivitis), gum disease can be cured. Unfortunately, many patients never know they are afflicted until it has progressed to periodontitis, which is more serious. When you look in the mirror every morning, you immediately notice the appearance of your teeth. However, you might not pay much attention to your gums. The signs of disease are subtle, and easily overlooked.
What signs should you watch for?
- Bleeding gums – One of the most common dental myths is “it’s normal for gums to bleed a little when brushing.” That is not true – if your gums bleed easily, there is likely a problem.
- Discoloration – Healthy gums are a uniform, light pink color. Gum disease can cause an uneven tone, and reddish or purplish appearance.
- Loose teeth – It is not normal for teeth to become loose with age. Gum disease erodes the bone, causing teeth to loosen gradually. It is the number one cause of adult tooth loss.
- Infection – In most cases, you don’t see the infection that is thriving in your mouth. However, sometimes there is visible pus around the teeth or along the gumline.
- Bad breath – Also called halitosis, this can be a temporary condition, resulting from certain foods such as garlic. However, if the problem is recurrent or chronic, it may be caused by gum disease.
- Receding gumline – Gum disease erodes the gum tissue, and causes pockets between the teeth and gums. If your teeth look too long, it could actually be a lack of gum tissue, leaving more of the tooth exposed. This also leaves the tooth vulnerable to decay.
- Mouth sores – The constant presence of infection can lead to frequent, or difficult to heal, sores on the soft tissue in your mouth.
- Changing alignment – If your teeth don’t fit together as well as they used to, or dental appliances no longer fit properly the cause could be shifting teeth or eroding bone, due to gum disease.
- Poor health – More research is needed to determine exactly how gum disease is related to other health problems. However, it has been firmly established that patients with a variety of chronic diseases are more likely to have gum disease.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, call (903) 708-6116 today, and schedule an appointment for a periodontal evaluation.
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