Gum disease is common: about half of all adults in the US have some degree of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, but it’s a threat to more than your teeth. Research links gum disease to heart disease, stroke, and cancer risk. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of gum disease early and seek treatment to save your teeth and your health.

If you are experiencing symptoms of gingivitis such as red or swollen gums, please contact Pamela Marzban, DDS to schedule an appointment right away. You can also schedule an appointment with our family dentist by calling our Burke, Virginia office at 703-323-8200.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis, the most common type of gum disease, is often identified by swollen or red gums that bleed easily when brushed. At the first sign of gingivitis it is important that you contact Burke family dentist Dr. Pamela Marzban for a complete examination. When diagnosed promptly, this type of gum disease can often be treated with a professional cleaning and more rigorous daily hygiene routine.

Gingivitis doesn’t always develop into periodontitis. We’re not sure exactly what factors cause some people to develop periodontitis quickly after getting gingivitis, while others don’t. Hygiene may be part of the answer, but it doesn’t seem to be the only factor. Much of the difference seems to be genetic–how your body responds to the infection. But the exact types of bacteria that you have can also influence your risk. Sometimes, genetic testing can help identify your risk.

Advanced Gum Disease

Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, can quickly develop when gingivitis is left untreated. Symptoms of this type of gum disease include:

  • A bad taste in the mouth that will not respond to brushing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum tissue pulling away from tooth roots
  • Pus in between teeth
  • Changes to the bite

These issues, when left untreated, may result in tooth loss and more serious complications such as jaw bone necrosis.

In addition to myriad oral health and beauty issues, advanced gum disease is a known risk factor for a number of systemic health problems. Capable of complicating pregnancy and interfering with blood sugar control, chronic periodontitis may also increase risks for heart disease and stroke, respiratory illness, dementia and Alzheimer’s, and a host of other potentially deadly conditions. To avoid these complications it is best to visits Dr. Marzban at the first indication of gum disease.

Preventing Gum Disease

The easiest way to prevent gum disease is to brush after every meal, floss morning and night, and visit our family dentistry practice twice yearly for cleanings and examinations. During your cleaning appointments, your hygienist will remove hardened plaque deposits, known as tartar or dental calculus, which can shelter oral bacteria below your gum line. This helps your body’s natural antibacterial solution (saliva) to drive out the infection.

When gum disease is identified during these visits, Dr. Marzban can provide swift treatment that helps guard against complications and ensure a strong, healthy, and attractive smile.

To learn more about preventing, detecting, and treating gum disease, please contact our Burke family dentist today.