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The Signs & Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as “periodontitis”, is a severe infection of the soft tissue around your teeth and, without proper treatment, can lead to the deterioration of the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis can also progress painlessly and without any symptoms until it is severe which is why it is so important to maintain good dental hygiene and be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Unfortunately, this condition is quite common, but it is easily preventable with the help of a trusted dentist.

At Smile Reston Heights, we are devoted to providing the highest quality of dentistry services possible to our clients throughout the Northern VA area. As the top dental practice in Reston, VA, we have helped thousands of patients receive the dental treatment they need over the years. Whether it is in general, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry, our dental specialists at Smile Reston Heights can help brighten and maintain your smile.

Here are some signs of gum disease, as well as some of the possible causes and risks that come with it:  

The Signs of Gum Disease

When your gums are healthy, they should feel firm and appear pale pink, as well as cover your teeth, fitting comfortably around them. On the other hand, symptoms of gum disease appear decayed and feel uncomfortable. Here are some examples:

  •         Gums bleed easily 
  •         Red or purplish gums 
  •         Pus between teeth and gums 
  •         Swollen & sensitive gums 
  •         Pain when chewing 
  •         Recession of gums over your teeth, making them appear longer

Periodontitis is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.  As soon as you discover that your gums show one or more of these symptoms, you should promptly make an appointment with your dentist. From there, they’ll be able to identify the potential causes and provide an effective course of treatment. 

Causes of Gum Disease

The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene habits. Moreover, the causes we will discuss shortly are the result of these bad habits. That’s why we highly recommend you brush at least twice a day as well as floss and see your dentist regularly, as these habits will greatly decrease the risk of you having periodontitis.

Beyond being the result of poor oral hygiene, gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque all around your teeth. This is a sticky film of bacteria that, if unaddressed, will advance the development of gum disease.

Here’s how the development of plaque progresses into gum disease:

  1. Plaque builds up on your teeth after particles of sugar and starch from the food you eat come into contact with bacteria that normally live in the human mouth. 
  2. When left unchecked, plaque will build up into tartar, which is an even denser build-up of bacteria that is harder to remove without a dental cleaning. 
  3. Greater levels of plaque will begin to cause the mildest form of gum disease: gingivitis, which inflames and irritates the gum tissue around the base of your teeth. 
  4. More and more inflammation will eventually cause pockets to form between your gums and teeth, which then fills with plaque, tartar, and bacteria that will further cause more deeper and severe infections. Eventually, this will lead to loss of tissue and bone, which may then result in the loss of one or several of your teeth.                           

Smile Reston Heights: Top, Reliable Dental Practice in Reston, VA

Gum disease can quickly become a serious issue for your dental health, so it is important to maintain a consistent habit of brushing and flossing every day, as well as receiving regular checkups from your dentist. At Smile Reston Heights, we are dedicated to becoming a welcoming dental practice that makes significant and restorative dental treatments available to patients in Reston and throughout Northern Virginia. To learn more about our services and accepted payment options, contact us at (703) 345-1100 or fill out our form and schedule an appointment with us today!

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