Periodontitis and gingivitis are both quite serious forms of gum disease that, when left unchecked, have the potential wreak havoc on your oral health. Having your teeth decay and potentially fall out are only two of the issues that can be caused by gum disease, and it is important that anyone who thinks they're suffering from either periodontitis or gingivitis seeks help from a dentist in Reseda, CA to get the treatment and assistance they need to overcome the issue. Unfortunately, many people that have gum disease are unaware of the problem, which is why it's essential that you understand what causes gum disease, how to know if you have gum disease and what you can to do to prevent it.

A Quick Intro to Gum Disease

While you might not like to think about it, your mouth is full of bacteria. Over time, these bacteria combine with mucous, saliva and food particles to form plaque—the substance that coats your teeth and gums when you don't brush properly and causes them to look yellow. Regular brushing and flossing is key to getting rid of plaque and also to helping to prevent gum disease.

When the plaque isn't removed properly, it eventually begins to build up and harden to form tartar. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed by simply brushing and instead requires professional dental cleaning to remove. When plaque sits on your teeth for too long, the bacteria in it begins to cause the gums to become red, inflamed and slightly infected. This mild inflammation of the gums is termed gingivitis, and it can potentially cause the gums to become more sensitive and to bleed easily.

Gingivitis can typically be taken care of through diligent brushing and flossing, but if the problem is not handled properly, it can eventually turn into a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. In this situation, the gums begin to recede more from the teeth. This causes small pockets to begin to form, which can become severely infected due to bacteria and can directly contribute to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss.

Signs of Gum Disease

The best dentist in Reseda will tell you that the key to preventing tooth decay and other serious issues caused by gum disease is prevention and early diagnosis. For this reason, it is essential that you watch out for any of the following signs of gum disease.

  • Inflamed, red or swollen gums
  • Gums that are extra tender or bleed easily
  • Persistent, unexplainable bad breath (i.e., won't go away and isn't related to something you ate)
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Sensitive teeth and gums, especially when eating or drinking something hot or cold
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gum lines

If you do notice that you're suffering from any of these signs, it is essential that you immediately schedule an appointment to see you dentist. Gum disease is much easier to treat when the problem is detected early on, and waiting too long to see your dentist could potentially mean you need to undergo expensive or painful treatments like a root canal. On the other hand, diagnosing and beginning to treat gingivitis before it progresses to fully blown periodontitis is usually far more simple and sometimes only requires being more diligent about your oral hygiene. Either way, it is essential that you seek the assistance of an experienced dentist in order to properly diagnose your issue and determine the best way to move forward.