While easily prevented, gum disease is among the most common dental problems affecting thousands of smiles each year. In Oak Harbor, our Whidbey Dentists are dedicated to helping patients learn how to identify and prevent gum disease from damaging their smiles and compromising their health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused when bacteria accumulate along the gum line, irritating the soft tissue. Over time, the gums pull away from teeth, leaving pockets where bacteria and plaque can become trapped and begin attacking the connective tissue that holds teeth in place. Without treatment, patients with advanced periodontitis can experience gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
While gum disease is easily prevented by sticking to an effective oral hygiene routine, it doesn’t take much for patients to begin showing signs of infection. Contact our dentists in Oak Harbor if you notice that your smile is showing any of the following symptoms:
- Gum discoloration from pink to bright red
- Tender, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Teeth appear larger
- Persistent unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Shifting teeth or tooth loss
Gum disease is a unique health condition in that it doesn’t just affect the smile. Recent studies have suggested that untreated gum disease can influence your overall well-being by worsening existing health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In pregnant women, gingivitis and gum disease has been linked to premature and high-risk childbirth.
With these consequences in mind, getting treatment as soon as you notice the symptoms is an important step in protecting your oral and overall health.
Treatment for Gum Disease in Oak Harbor
At Whidbey Dental Associates, we tailor treatment to the severity of your condition. For patients with gingivitis or early-stage gum disease, we’re often able to reverse the damage with a deep cleaning and aggressive home care program. In the event of mild-to-moderate gum disease, we may recommend more advanced treatment. If you have experienced tooth loss as a result of gum disease, we’ll walk you through your tooth replacement options once we’ve improved the health of your smile.