Oral health and physical health are intertwined. Any aspect of your systemic health that is not functioning at optimal levels can affect your overall wellbeing. At Dazzling Smiles, Dr. Michaela McKenzie is an experienced, talented, and respected biological dentist who understands the close connection among oral, emotional, and physical wellness.
Such is the case with gum disease. Many health conditions can be affected by gingivitis and periodontitis, the two forms of periodontal disease. Certain diseases or conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or stroke may be exacerbated, or they may increase your risk of gum disease.
Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. It occurs when plaque builds and bacteria grow, resulting in inflammation, bleeding gums, and bad breath.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, the gums and the bone surrounding teeth may recede, forming pockets, which retain debris and they may become infected. Bacteria that exist within plaque begin to erode the bone and tissues that support the teeth. Eventually, bone loss will lead to loss of teeth. Gum disease is the number one cause of edentulism, or tooth loss.
Several factors may contribute to gum disease, such as:
- Plaque buildup and an insufficient oral hygiene routine
- Medications that cause dry mouth reduce the saliva that protects teeth and gums
- Genetics or a history of gum disease
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Certain illnesses or diseases
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad taste in the mouth or halitosis
- Bleeding, swollen, or sensitive gums
- Receding gums
- Pockets that form between teeth and gums
- Shifting or loosening teeth
- Changes in bite
Gum disease has no cure; however, the condition is manageable with professional treatment and effective oral care. Talk with Dr. McKenzie and our knowledgeable staff today to learn how to achieve a dazzling smile and your healthiest gums. Comprehensive consultations and appointments may be scheduled by calling 404-900-5175.