The lasting effects of gum disease can be disastrous, yet many people don’t consider the dental ailment a serious condition. At least, they may not take it as seriously as they should. Unfortunately, this laissez-faire attitude may contribute greatly to gum disease’s statistics. For instance, the fact that over 80% of America’s adult population has the disease to some extent, or that it’s the number one cause of adult tooth loss. While ignoring the disease until it went away would be ideal, it isn’t going to happen. Neglect will only allow the infection to run rampant, threatening the integrity of your mouth’s foundation.
The Birth of Gum Disease
If you were taught as a child to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, then you may have heard the term, dental plaque. Most people recognize that plaque is the sticky substance that adheres to your teeth sometimes, but not many people realize that this biofilm contains over 600 different kinds of bacteria. Not all of these germs are hazardous, but when plaque gathers at your gum line, the microbes release toxins that irritate your gums. Other germs manipulate your immune system to survive, resulting in unchecked and potentially dangerous inflammation. Red, swollen, and sometimes bleeding gums often introduce the beginning stage of gum disease, called gingivitis.
The Advancement of Gum Disease
Gingivitis doesn’t usually cause physical discomfort, and consequently, many people disregard or fail to notice the telltale signs of gum inflammation. When left untreated, the irritation and inflammation will continue to destroy your soft periodontal tissue. As the most severe form of gum disease, advanced periodontitis continues past your gums to begin its work on your jawbone, weakening your teeth’s foundation and support further and eventually leading to permanent tooth loss.
The Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
The best method of preventing gum disease is to maintain a strict oral hygiene regimen. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once to prevent the excessive buildup of bacterial plaque. If Dr. Cain notices the signs of gum disease during your six-month dental checkup, then he may recommend a deep periodontal cleaning. Also called a scaling and root planing, the procedure involves removing bacteria from underneath the gum line and smoothing your teeth roots’ surfaces to discourage future bacteria buildup. In extreme cases, a periodontist (gum specialist) may be required to restore irreversibly damaged gum tissues.
About Your Gary, IN Dentist:
As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your family’s next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.