Gum Disease

A great percentage of Americans face some level of gum disease (known to dentists as periodontal disease). The troubling fact about this is that half of these patients do not even realize that they are dealing with gum disease. Either these patients do not notice the symptoms, or the symptoms are attributed to some other problem. This is one reason, among many, that it is vital for you to keep your semi-annual visits to the dentist for an exam and a cleaning. Your dentist is trained to spot the early signs of gum disease and help you confront it.

What causes periodontal disease?

Every person has natural bacteria in their mouth, which combine with other particles in a sticky substance called plaque. If the plaque is not regularly removed from your teeth, gums, and mouth, it will form a substance called tartar. This is more difficult to remove than plaque. Tartar build up will eventually cause your gums to swell until you develop a condition known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis will become gum disease.

Can any habits increase my risk of gum disease?

Research indicates that there are a variety of factors that may increase a patient’s likelihood to develop gum disease. These factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Periods of hormonal change
  • Taking medications
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Other illnesses

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Signs that you may be afflicted with gum disease include the following:

  • Consistent halitosis
  • Gums that are swollen or red
  • Gums that are tender or bleeding
  • The existence of pain when you are chewing
  • Teeth that are loose or overly sensitive
  • Receding gums

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact our Bakersfield office and give Dr. Trunkey the opportunity to give you a thorough exam. The sooner gum disease is diagnosed and treated, the better it will be for your overall oral health.