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Gum disease is a common condition that can lead to tooth loss if not controlled. More than half of adults have some form of gum disease, and among adults older than 35, three-fourths are affected by periodontal problems. For gum disease treatment with a gentle touch, visit our practice serving Queens and all of New York — Astoria Dental Group. Our dentists, Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel, are experienced in gum disease treatment methods that can prevent the periodontal disease from leading to major problems such as gum recession and bone loss.
Periodontal (gum) disease is defined as a bacterial infection of the gums, bones, and ligaments that support the teeth and hold them in the jaw. When gum disease progresses to later stages, the supporting structures of the teeth are destroyed, and tooth loss can result.
Plaque, which begins forming on teeth within as little as four hours after brushing, is the primary factor in gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that attack gums and release toxins that inflame the soft tissues of the mouth. Plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing hardens into tartar (calculus), a crusty deposit that can only be removed by a dentist.
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
Gum disease can be asymptomatic and painless. However, many patients experience symptoms that include:
- Bleeding, tender, swollen, or red gums
- Abscesses (pus oozing from the gums)
- Loose teeth
- Foul odor / halitosis
If you experience any of these symptoms, please visit us for an exam. If early-stage gum disease is detected, simple treatment can prevent the condition from progressing.
What are some of the factors that contribute to gum disease?
A variety of factors can contribute to gum disease. They include:
- Poor diet
- Crowded teeth
- Improper bite alignment
- Hormonal changes
- Poorly fitting dental restorations
- Clenching or grinding of teeth
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes and blood disorders
- Medications, including calcium channel blockers and anticonvulsants