The leading cause of tooth loss in the United States may not be what you would expect.

It would be reasonable to think cavities was the biggest problem. That is a concern, but there is something bigger — gum disease.

When gum disease goes untreated, it weakens gum tissue and it can attack the bone that holds your roots in place.

At Newingham Dental Center, we would prefer it if none of our patients ever had gum disease, but we know that isn’t a realistic expectation.

A recent survey by Centers for Disease Control indicated that nearly half of adults 30 and older have some form of periodontitis, which is considered an advanced form of gum disease.

Fortunately, we can help if you ever see symptoms of periodontal disease. Our dentist office is located in Birmingham, MI, but we treat patients from Royal Oak, Troy, and everywhere in between.

What To Watch For

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing every day. Nevertheless, fewer than half of Americans floss on a daily basis.

Flossing is just as important as brushing. It’s how you remove plaque and bacteria — the same bacteria that cause gum disease — from the places that you can’t reach with your toothbrush.

If you aren’t brushing and floss like you should, you may notice the symptoms of gingivitis. These include red and swollen gums and bleeding when you do floss.

At this stage, you often can reverse the problem by being more deliberate about following the ADA recommendations.

If you allow your gum disease to persist, it can turn into periodontitis. The symptoms of this include the following:
◼︎ Sore, tender gums
◼︎ Gums that bleed easily
◼︎ Gums that are separately from your teeth
◼︎ Teeth that feel loose
◼︎ Pus leaking from your gums
◼︎ Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, it’s time to act. It’s time to call Newingham Dental Center so we can treat your disease and get your mouth back to a healthy state.

Risk Factors

Some people are more likely to develop gum disease. This can be the result of behaviors, or it may be something out of your control.

Either way, you should be aware if you may be in the high-risk category. The following as factors can make you more prone to gum disease:

▶︎ Tobacco Use

Any tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, etc.) will damage your gum tissue. Since tobacco products also weaken your health, using tobacco can make it more difficult to treat gum disease, too.

▶︎ Medications

There’s a saying about no good deed going unpunished, and this may be another example of this. Some medicines have side effects that can increase your risk of gum disease. Let us know if you are taking any medicine so we will know if it could affect your gum health.

▶︎ Age

As we get older, our immune systems aren’t as strong as they used to be. Just as we may become more prone to other diseases, many people are more susceptible to gum disease as they get older.

▶︎ Family History

You are probably aware that genetics can increase or decrease your risk for certain diseases. Gum disease is on that list. If your relatives have a history of developing gum disease, then you may be more likely to develop it as well.

▶︎ Being A Female Undergoing Hormone Changes

We know this one isn’t fair, but it is someone you should know about. Females going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause are more likely to develop gum disease.
▶︎ Stress

Stress can and does affect our overall health. This includes our oral health, and stress can contribute to your risk of periodontal disease.

Our hope is that you can use this information to your advantage. If you know that you may be more likely to develop gum disease, that may encourage you to brush and floss like you should.

Here To Help

If you have any question about gum disease or how to prevent it, feel free to call our dentist office in Birmingham, MI, to ask questions.

Likewise, please make an appointment as soon as you can if you have seen the signs or symptoms of periodontitis. You can reach our office by calling 248-972-8720 or by filling out our online form.