Santa Monica Gum Disease Dentists Share Information About This Oral Health Problem

by Dr. Follette

Providing optimal oral health care begins with the foundation of your smile—your gum tissue. If your gum tissue is not strong and healthy, your entire smile will suffer as a result. Today, our Santa Monica dentists are sharing some information about oral health problems related to gum disease, and what you can do to protect your smile.

What causes gum disease?

The short answer is—oral bacteria. The same harmful bacteria infect teeth and cause cavities, can also infect your oral tissues and cause gum disease. Bacteria actually feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates, so every time that you indulge in sweet goodies you are giving bacteria a boost.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gum infections can develop asymptomatically in their earliest stages. However, as time goes on you will likely notice a few unwanted symptoms including:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding tissue
  • Tender gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gum tissue that pulls away from your teeth (forming gaps that are called periodontal pockets)
  • Teeth that feel loose or teeth that shift along your gum line

The key is to pay attention to any changes that you notice with your oral health. If your gums look redder than usual, or if you know you are experiencing increased gum sensitivity, you should reach out to your dental team for an oral health assessment. If left untreated, gum disease will become more severe periodontal disease. The infection may even spread to your jawbone and the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place.

How can I treat gum disease?

Our team will recommend treatments depending on the current state of your smile and the severity of oral infection. You may benefit from:

  • Treatment that removes diseased tissue
  • Upgrades to your at-home oral hygiene routine (specific toothpastes, mouth rinses, or tools)
  • Frequent professional cleanings to clear away plaque and tartar
  • Gum grafts to rebuild lost tissue

The first step in the treatment process is to complete a consultation with our Santa Monica gum disease dentists. We are here to help you!