We see this problem almost every week. Someone comes into our Edgewood, Ky., dental office office with a mouth that has been ravaged by gum disease. They are in pain and perhaps missing a few teeth because of the problem. They are shocked to learn about many of the dangers associated with gum disease.

This happens frequently. Luckily, Edgewood Dental Care is a premier dental office that provides everything from preventive dentistry to placing dental implants. We even have the expertise to prevent and treat gum problems before they take over your mouth. Why do we focus so much on gum disease? Well, for one, the problem is widespread. It affects about 50 percent of all adults.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, occurs in stages. The earliest stage of is gum disease gingivitis, while the most advanced form of gum disease is periodontitis. You don’t need to know about every detail of the disease, but there are a few facts you need to consider, as gum disease can affect anyone. Here are 5 facts about gum disease.

1. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
An infection in the gums puts you at a greater risk of tooth decay than cavities or even dental accidents. Gum disease is so dangerous because it attacks the gums and the bone. When the gums and bones are compromised, it’s possible for the teeth to fail. And because gum disease is an infection, that infection will spread throughout the mouth if left untreated.

2. Gum disease is connected to illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Periodontal disease is problem that occurs when inflammation is present in the gums. Periodontal disease is created by plague, much like heart disease. While researchers have never found a cause-and-effect relationship between gum disease and heart disease, we do believe that gum disease can exacerbate heart disease.

3. Gum disease can strike without warning.
Bleeding and swollen gums are the first sign of gum disease, but it’s possible to have gum disease without any of these physical symptoms. The best way to know the health of your gums is with regular cleanings and examinations. During a cleaning, we’ll check the health of your teeth and gums.

4. Not all forms of gum disease are curable.
While maintenances and cleanings can help many patients with gingivitis, not all forms of gum disease are curable. If gum disease has reached it’s more severe stages, you’ll need gum care for the rest of your life. We ask that patients with periodontal disease visit the dentist every three to four months so we can monitor periodontal pockets.

5. Brushing and flossing reduces your risk of gum disease.
This might not be a new piece of advice, but it works. Flossing is especially important. Brushing your teeth cannot properly clean in between the teeth or beneath the gum line. Flossing can. In fact, about 35 percent of the tooth is beneath the gum line. Floss is your best tool in cleaning that area.

A new way to control gum disease
Years ago, gum disease was only treated with conventional surgery. An oral surgeon would cut the infection from the gums and then stitch the are back together. That’s not necessary any longer. We can clean out the gum pockets with lasers. These lasers are used to evaporate the infection in the gums. The laser allow for quicker healing and there is no need for scalpels or stitches. We’ve found that laser dentistry is more comfortable and can lead to great long-term results.

Schedule an appointment today
We hope you have found these facts helpful. Gum disease can be scary and require much of your time and resources. Don’t let this problem take over your mouth. You can schedule a visit with us today by calling 859-474-7830.