Our gums protect and support the pearly whites and the tissue that holds them to the bone. When our gums are not healthy, we risk losing those teeth and this will have an impact on our overall health.
How Gum Disease Happens?
Gum disease usually starts in areas that we’re not brushing or keeping clean. Bacteria build up in a film on our teeth and we get a reaction to that bacteria – inflammation.
Periodontal or gum disease
Inflammation, or swelling of the gums – commonly known as gingivitis, can be one of the first warning signs of gum disease.
– gum redness
– bleeding while brushing or flossing
– receding gum line
– loose teeth
– constant bad breath
– mouth sores
Pain isn’t one of the first symptoms of gingivitis. What’s unique about early gum disease is that it is quite ‘silent’ and it doesn’t cause much discomfort. That’s why we really have to pay attention to those other symptoms.
If we don’t treat gingivitis, gum problems will get worse. Infection and inflammation will spread deeper into the tissues that support the tooth and when that happens, the inflammation becomes destructive.
The gums begin to pull away from the teeth, which lets in even more bacteria. At this stage we call it periodontitis.
Periodontitis causes the tissues and bone that support the teeth to break down. This creates pockets where bacteria can grow.
As we lose bone, our teeth get looser and looser, and eventually, they fall out.
Oral health affects our whole body’s health. Studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to get heart disease and are less able to control their blood sugar.
When are we at risk of gum disease?
– Are pregnant
– Have a family history of gum disease
– Have diabetes
– Have high stress
– Grind or clench our teeth
– Plaque buildup
– Use tabacco products
How to prevent gum disease?
Like most health problems, prevention is key when it comes to battling gum disease. To prevent plaque buildup and keep gum disease at bay you should:
– Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
– Clean between the teeth, with floss or another inter dental cleaning tool.
– Swish twice daily with antiseptic mouth rinse.
– See your dentist regularly.
How do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease is most common among adults but it can occur at any age. If detected in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed.
See your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
– Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
– Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
– Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
– Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
– Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
– Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
– Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
– If you noticed any other changes in your oral health
How is Gum Disease Treated?
The first stages of gum disease can often be treated with proper brushing and flossing.
Good oral health will help keep plaque from building up and prevent bacteria to develop.
Professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that
has built up and hardened into tartar. Your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth to
remove the tartar above and below the gumline.
If your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be performed.
Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.
By scheduling regular checkups, early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition.
Call today for a complimentary appointment!