Recognizing the Early Signs of Gum Disease

Nearly 50% of adults ages 30 to 65 have a form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And from age 65 on, that number increases to over 70%. As common as gum disease is, there’s also good news. When gum disease is addressed early on, it’s highly treatable. And better yet, proper care can lower your risk for potentially serious complications.

Our experienced team at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, is pleased to provide periodontal services to both treat and prevent gum disease, as well as related damage. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease, including early signs to take note of.

Gum disease defined

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when infection and inflammation invade your gums and the bone that supports your teeth. The first stage is known as gingivitis. If gingivitis goes unmanaged, it can progress into periodontitis, a serious infection that can lead to loose or lost teeth. 

Gum disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene, although factors such as genetics, older age, chewing tobacco, and stress make it more likely. 

First, a sticky layer called plaque grows on your teeth. If the plaque stays put, it can turn into the harder substance, tartar, which collects harmful bacteria and can’t be removed through brushing and flossing. The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate your gums, fueling inflammation and infection. 

Early gum disease symptoms

When your gums are healthy, they’re firm, fitted snugly around your teeth, and pale pink in color. Once gum disease sets in, this can gradually change. Tell-tale early symptoms of gum disease include:

Benefits of early gum disease treatment

Gingivitis can be treated with specialized professional cleanings that remove all traces of plaque and tartar buildup, as well as bacteria, in affected areas. This process, known as scaling and root planing, allows your gums to heal while preventing further infection. 

Getting gum disease care early on can also keep your teeth from loosening and falling out and prevent the need for more intense treatments, such as dental restoration, later on. Because periodontitis is linked with other serious conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, gum disease treatment may benefit your overall health as well. 

To learn more about gum disease or get the treatment you need, call Swinney Dental to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chip Swinney or Dr. Kayla Morton. You can also use our convenient online booking feature on this website. 

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