Gum Disease

Savannah Dental

Cosmetic Dentistry & General Dentistry located in Savannah, GA

Gum disease is not just a dental health issue; it can also affect your overall health. For residents of Savannah, Georgia, and surrounding Chatham County, the team at Savannah Dental offers top quality diagnostic and treatment for gum disease. Scheduling an appointment is fast and easy using the online tool, or you are always welcome to call and speak with a friendly member of the administrative team regarding appointment availability.

Gum Disease Q & A

What is gum disease?

Gum disease occurs when bacterial growth begins to damage your gum tissue. There are two levels of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

This is the earliest stage of gum disease. It begins as bacteria builds up and causes mild gum inflammation. At this stage, the connection between your teeth and bone tissue is still strong. With proper care, you may be able to reverse gingivitis and restore healthy gingival tissue. 

Periodontitis

This is the more advanced stage of gum disease. At this stage, your gum tissue begins to pull away from the surface of your teeth, creating tiny pockets. Bacteria can thrive in these small spaces, multiplying more rapidly and causing more problems, including infections and lost teeth. 

During routine dental exams your dental team checks the health of your gums. This allows them to catch gum disease in the earliest possible stages, when changes in your dental hygiene can reverse the condition. 

What are some signs and symptoms of gum disease?

One of the most common signs of gum disease is a tinge of blood after you brush your teeth. When your gum tissue becomes inflamed, it bleeds more easily. Even something as mild as normal brushing can cause bleeding, which will worsen as the gum disease progresses. 

Some additional signs of gum disease include:

  • Visibly swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Visible pockets between teeth and gums 
  • Frequent bad breath
  • Changes in how your teeth fit together when biting

Any time you notice changes in your teeth or gums you should schedule a dental exam. Like most conditions, gum disease can be treated most easily in the early stages. 

Why treat gum disease?

Advanced gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. You can also develop a nasty infection, which can be very painful. 

There is also a growing body of evidence to support the connection between dental health and overall health. Researchers believe that advanced gum disease allows bacteria to travel from your mouth into your bloodstream, where it can cause or worsen a wide range of health conditions. 

Some of the health issues linked to periodontitis include:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia

Taking great care of your gums is just as important as choosing heart-healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding risky habits. If you’re overdue for a comprehensive dental exam or are worried about signs of gum disease, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.