Beyond Bad Breath: Gum Disease Is More Serious Than You Think

gum-disease-in-astoriaGum disease, a condition that affects nearly half of all adults over the age of 30, develops as the result of an infection targeting the gums and connective tissues holding teeth in place. Although it causes loss of tooth and bone, the condition causes virtually no pain at first. According to Queens dentist Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, this may explain why the majority of men and women neglect to seek treatment. Treating gum disease in Astoria, NY is as simple as scheduling an appointment with your dentist—a good idea, given the fact that an estimated one-third of all adults lose at least one permanent tooth during their lifetime.

Seek Treatment for Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Familiarize yourself with the warning signs that indicate you may have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Symptoms associated with gingivitis and periodontitis include:

  • Chronic bad breath or a foul taste that remains after brushing
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Teeth that appear to have separated or lengthened
  • Tender gums

If you currently wear dentures, take note of any changes in how comfortable your dentures are. Gum disease attacks the support structure of your mouth, which could cause your dentures to fit improperly or rub uncomfortable in your mouth.

Know the Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease

Neglecting to care for teeth and gums is the most common cause of gum disease, followed closely by using tobacco products, whether chewed or smoked. Chewing tobacco may not pose the same threats to your lung as cigarettes or cigars, but its consequences for your oral health are devastating. Excessive alcohol consumption, too, increases your risk. These substances dry out your mouth, making it more vulnerable to decay and infection. Other risk factors are outside of our control but can be mitigated by excellent hygiene and scheduling dental exams and professional cleaning every six months. For example, taking certain medications for cancer, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, and oral contraception may increase the risk of developing gingivitis. Hormonal fluctuations make women susceptible to gingivitis, especially when menstruating, pregnant, or going through menopause. Even heredity plays a part in your risk profile.

Make Treatment a Priority

Make an appointment with Dr. Leibowitz if you experience the symptoms described earlier. Unlike the advanced form of the disease, gingivitis is reversible. Beyond that point, the effects become more serious. Periodontal disease causes tooth loss, and it compromises the density of your jawbone. As a result, you may require restorative dentistry to regain full function of your mouth. There are also multiple studies demonstrating a relationship between oral health, especially your gums, and the health of your entire body.

Do your gums bleed when you brush? To learn more about preventing and treating gum disease in Astoria, NY, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, contact us at 718-728-8320. Dr. Leibowitz welcomes patients from upstate New York, New York City, Queens, and New Jersey.