Approximately 80% or more of adults in America have gum disease to some extent. While many people may not consider the affliction a serious one, the truth is that gum disease is one of the most wide-spread chronic diseases among us, and is the number one cause of permanent tooth loss. Contrary to what the numbers may indicate, gum disease is largely preventable with adequate oral health care. Unfortunately, once you’ve developed gum disease, it is not curable. It is, however, highly treatable, and early detection and treatment can save your teeth and gums from the destructive power of advancing gum disease. To help improve your chances of successfully treating gum disease early, Fresno dentists Dr. Alex Denes and Dr. Claudia Denes explain its earliest stage—gingivitis.
The Beginning of Gum Disease
Tooth decay and gum disease are among the most common oral health issues today. Both begin with the excessive accumulation of dental plaque, which contains hundreds of different kinds of oral bacteria. When plaque accumulates along your gum line, the germs release toxins that irritate your gum tissue, causing it to separate from your teeth and create small pockets where more germs can gather. Your immune system registers these harmful germs and fights back by initiating inflammation (a common immune system response to invading microbes). Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are the telltale signs of gingivitis, but the beginning stage of gum disease rarely generates physical discomfort, and therefore it often goes unnoticed until it advances to periodontitis—a more severe form of gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Common Risk Factors for Gingivitis
Brushing and flossing your teeth is your first and foremost defense against excessive dental plaque buildup. Consequently, poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis. Other factors include, but are not limited to:
Certain systemic infections and/or diseases
Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy
Severe or uncontrolled diabetes
Crooked or misaligned teeth (which make plaque removal difficult)
A wide variety of medications
Special Treatment for Your Gums in Fresno
If you’d like to learn more about treating gingivitis and periodontitis, or if you’d like to schedule a dental consultation to determine if you have gum disease, then contact your Fresno dentists by calling Fresno Dental Studio at (559) 297-1800. Located in the 93720 area, we proudly serve patients from Fresno, Clovis, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.