(978) 688-1895
Methuen office:
91 Jackson Street
Methuen, MA 01844
(603) 434-0090
Windham office:
25 Indian Rock Rd #1
Windham, NH 03087


Gum Disease Risks to Discuss with your Dentist

Family Dentistry Methuen MADental care has expanded over time to observe and preserve more than our teeth. As we have learned over time, the gum tissue around teeth is vital to long-term oral health. The soft tissue around teeth is involved in our ability to chew and speak and, just like our teeth, this tissue can sustain damage. Fortunately, we have a good understanding of what may cause gum disease and also how to treat this multi-phase condition if it does rear its ugly head.

Gum disease presents in stages. We don’t jump from not having gum disease to having the most severe form. Initially, what occurs is inflammation in the superficial gingiva around teeth. We call this gingivitis, and we hope to treat this early infection right away. If gingivitis is not properly treated, the infection spreads to the periodontal tissue beneath the surface. We call this periodontitis, and we become more concerned about lasting damage when this condition arises. The final and most serious stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, in which gum recession is noticeable, and teeth may feel loose.

Every stage of gum disease can be treated. However, once infection has reached periodontal tissue, we hope to manage oral health and prevent progression. There is no going back to not having gum disease at this point. For this reason, we strongly encourage patients to understand risk and to discuss questions and concerns with us during routine visits.

Risk factors worth discussion include:

  • General health. Gum disease is more prevalent among individuals with certain health conditions. This is because diseases like diabetes and others that affect immunity make it harder for the body to fight off infection anywhere, including the mouth.
  • Oral health is dependent on how we take care of our smile. The daily habits that are practiced can mitigate uncontrollable risk factors by inhibiting bacterial buildup known as plaque. Brushing and flossing are daily actions that shouldn’t be skipped. Experts also encourage us to avoid tobacco and chewing on hard objects.
  • We can’t go through life and not face stress from time to time. However, stress can have a negative impact on health and wellness if we don’t learn to manage it. Not only do stress chemicals diminish our immunity, but the presence of stress can also stand between us and our oral care habits.

Your Methuen and Windham dentist has ways to help you reduce your chances of developing gum disease. Contact an office near you for assistance.