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9708 N. Nevada, Suite 102, Spokane, WA 99218
Call for an Appointment: (509) 489-6850

What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease when left untreated. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons, which irritate the gums. They may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.

How gum disease starts

Plaque can harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. You can still have periodontal disease without the presence of bleeding, redness and swelling, so frequent dental exams are necessary. Further, pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease. This disease damages the teeth, gum and jawbone of more than 80% of Americans by age 45.

Gums should not bleed when you touch or brush them. If you develop gingivitis, the initial stage of periodontal disease, it is your gums that will primarily be affected.

Symptoms of Gingivitis, the first stage, may include:
Tender & painful gums
Swelling & red gums
Bleeding gums, especially after brushing

Symptoms of Periodontitis, the second stage, may include:
Bad breath & foul taste
Bleeding gums intensified
Difficulty eating
Pus from the gums
Teeth becoming loose
Teeth falling out
Abscessed gums (collection of infected fluid)

Periodontal Care

Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone which hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth can shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak; they also destroy your smile.

Certain factors can increase the risk, severity and speed at which periodontal diseases develop. This includes factors such as:

•  Genetics
•  Smoking or chewing tobacco
•  Bridges which no longer fit properly or fillings that have become defective
•  Malocclusion (crooked teeth or bad bite)
•  Clenching or grinding teeth
•  Poor diet
•  Pregnancy
•  Stress
•  Systemic diseases, such as leukemia, AIDS or diabetes
•  Menopause
•  Osteoporosis
•  Medications, such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives.

Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. The treatment methods that Dr. Aeschliman recommends will depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Good dental care at home is essential to preventing gum disease from recurring or becoming more serious.
If you or a loved one has need of periodontal care, please speak with your general dentist for a referral to Dr. Aeschliman or call us today at (509) 489-6850, or click the Request Appointment button above and we will contact you to schedule an appointment.

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Steve Aeschliman DDS | | 509-489-6850
9708 N. Nevada, Suite 102, Spokane, WA 99218



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