What You Need to Know about Gritty Gum Disease
jpg” alt=”Gum Disease” width=”250″ height=”166″ />If you have healthy gums, you have healthy teeth. It's as simple as that.
As soon as your gums go, your teeth will soon follow. Gum disease is that detrimental!
The disease takes two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis occurs when bacteria collect in tiny pockets at the gum line, causing inflammation. The most common symptoms are bleeding when teeth are brushed and persistent bad breath. Gingivitis accounts for about 70% of gum disease. Periodontitis makes up the other 30%.
If gingivitis goes untreated, the inflammation can invade connective tissue and bone. This causes periodontitis.
Symptoms of periodontitis include:
- Receding gums
- Visible pockets of inflammation along the gum line
- Gum pain
- Unusual sensitivity to temperature changes.
Eventually, even the healthiest teeth can become loose and fall out.
I can't stress enough how important regular dental exams are in preventing gum disease. This is because by the time most people notice any of the warning signs of periodontitis, it is usually too late to reverse the damage. My hygienists and I can spot trouble in the form of pockets of inflammation or places where gum tissue has broken down, exposing the root of the tooth.
With regular checkups, the condition of your gums can be tracked and compared over time. Dental x-rays can also show signs of gum disease.
Of course, there are things YOU can do to prevent gum disease. Things like:
- Brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day.
- Using an antibacterial mouth rinse at least once a day.
- Quitting smoking. Tobacco increases the danger of gum disease by damaging gum tissue and increasing inflammation.
When's the last time you've been into our office for a teeth cleaning and dental exam? If it has been more than 6 months, the time to come in is NOW. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online.