Polk City Dentist: How to Know if You Have Gum Disease

girl protecting her smileGum disease affects around 70% of adults by the time they reach age 60, and although the infection is highly preventable, it remains the leading cause of adult tooth loss today. A major factor in gum disease’s widespread infection is neglect; patients often don’t heed the warning signs of gum disease, and as a result, it spreads and worsens until gum tissue becomes severely infected. To help you protect your smile against the ravishes of gum disease, your Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, explains the condition and how to tell when its development threatens your oral health.

What is Gum Disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease affects the soft tissues that surround and protect the roots of your teeth as they emerge from the jawbone. Like tooth decay, the disease typically develops in the midst of poor oral hygiene, and is the result of excessive dental plaque accumulating along the gum line. Some of the bacteria in dental plaque directly irritate gum tissue, causing it to swell and separate from teeth. Left unchecked, the bacterial infection can destroy gum tissue and the jawbone underneath, leading to tooth loss in severe cases.  

The Telling Signs of Gingivitis

As a progressive disease, gum disease becomes a serious problem when it’s allowed to run rampant. In its earliest stage, however, gum disease is often hardly noticeable. Although gums become inflamed from the irritation, and bleeding usually occurs while brushing and flossing teeth, the infection known as gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) doesn’t generate physical discomfort until the disease has caused enough damage to expose teeth’s roots. If your gums appear red, angry, and swollen, visit us as soon as possible to seek early treatment before excessive damage threatens your oral health.

Save Your Smile with Help from Your Polk City Dentist

To learn more about treating and preventing gum disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Hussong by calling your Polk City dentist’s office at (515) 984-6001. Serving the 50226 area, Cornerstone Dental proudly welcomes families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.