Almost 65 million members of the adult population have some form of gum disease, and many of them may not even know. This is overwhelmingly concerning because diagnosis and treatment of gum disease as early as possible are critical to saving your smile and preserving your health. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss when left untreated. However, when caught in its earliest stages, referred to as gingivitis, the effects are reversible. Dr. Richard Weigand in Spokane, WAencourages everyone to be aware of gingivitis symptoms.
Gum disease symptoms
Periodontal disease is triggered by overpopulation of certain strains of oral bacteria. These pathogens create a sticky biofilm of plaque that protects them from saliva and traps food debris. As they feast on
sugar and starch, they produce acidic excretions that cause gum problems. If the biofilm is not removed with frequent brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar at the gumline, causing further irritation.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Halitosis (persistent bad breath)
- Odd taste in the mouth
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pus around teeth
Without treatment, gums loosen, forming periodontal pockets. Bacteria in pockets move deeper into oral structures, attacking ligaments and bone. Teeth get loose and fall out or require extraction. Meanwhile, bacteria infiltrate the body through diseased gum tissue.
Why Spokane, WA patients should take gum disease seriously
As gum disease progresses into its more advanced stages, called periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, non-reversible damage takes place. These effects may include the loss of teeth and dangerous systemic illnesses that scientists believe may stem from bacteria entering the blood stream.
Gum disease is linked to:
- Heart disease
- Pre-term labor
- Head and neck cancer
- Kidney disease
- Respiratory ailments
Dr. Richard D. Weigand is a Fellow of the World Clinical Laser Institute (WCLI) and has advanced laser training at the Biolase headquarters. He is dedicated to helping his patients recognize gum disease as early as possible and providing contemporary treatment that gets it under control so that oral health can be maintained.
Call (509) 485-8620 to become a new patient at Richard D Weigand DDS in Spokane, WA. We provide excellent oral hygiene and guidance on at-home care that helps you avoid gum disease or manage an existing condition effectively.