What Is Gum Disease and How Do I Know If I Have It?

We all have bacteria in our mouth, and many strains are important for maintaining good oral health—but if that bacteria isn’t properly controlled, it can lead to gum disease. Generally, people focus on their teeth when brushing and they easily overlook their gums and forget to floss. This allows plaque to build up on and between your teeth and harden. If not treated, this plaque will spread below your gum line and cause irritation. At Heflin Family Dentistry in Albuquerque, our trusted dentists focus on creating a treatment plan to help you stave off gum disease or manage it if it’s already developed.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is quite common in U.S. adults and can range from a mild form of gingivitis or can advance to periodontitis—a serious gum infection that can eventually eat away at the jawbone. There are many factors that can contribute to gum disease, but inadequate oral hygiene and smoking are significant factors.

Initial signs that you have gum disease can be painless when in the early stages of gingivitis, but early detection can be critical to stopping periodontitis in its tracks.

Symptoms to look out for can include:

Gingivitis can be treated and is reversible with dental cleanings and proper at-home oral health care.
When left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis—this is where that untreated plaque reaches below the gum line and can cause severe infection. Your mouth naturally responds to this infection with inflammation and your gum tissue and bones begin to break down because of the toxins in the bacteria. Depending on the extent of the gum disease, treatment can range from prescribed antibiotics to more invasive routes such as surgery.

Best Albuquerque Dentist for Periodontitis

Your dentist will usually test for gum disease by looking at your gum line and checking if you’re suffering from any of the symptoms listed above. If you have these symptoms and are concerned you may have gum disease, don’t hesitate to schedule your appointment with the Albuquerque’s trusted dentist at Heflin Family Dentistry!

To preserve the health of your teeth and gums, it’s important to make regular visits to your dentist and get the recommended bi-yearly cleanings to keep your mouth healthy. Detect gum disease early to prevent an even bigger problem and call us to make your appointment today with the dental experts at Heflin Family Dentistry!