On your next dental visit, ask your dentist to examine your gums.
Why is it important for your dentist to do a deep examination of your teeth and oral cavity? Unfortunately, currently many adults in the U.S. suffer some form of oral disease.
Imagine if so many Americans are in danger of contamination; then this check-up is especially important. Through his examination your dentist will examine and determine if you are at risk of gum disease.
Gum disease is an infection in the gum area; the infection can be anything from a simple gum inflammation to serious disease. If gum disease is not stopped, slowed or treated in its early stages; the infection can worsen and seriously damage your oral cavity. What causes gum disease? The response is simple; gum disease can be cause by the bacteria in our mouth.
All of us have bacteria in our mouth; in fact our mouths are full of bacteria. Bacteria continuously form a sticky, colorless paste that sticks on teeth and gums; this paste is known as “PLAQUE”.
As mention plaque is a sticky, colorless paste of bacteria that forms in your gums and teeth. When dental plaque is not removed, it will harden and form tartar.
Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed by brushing your teeth; only a professional, deep cleaning done by your dentist can remove tartar. When plaque and tartar build-up; bacteria can cause inflammation on your gums – this in your inflammation gums is called gingivitis.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Bad Breath
- Swollen/Red Gums
- Loose/Sensitive Teeth
- Bleeding Gums
- Reduction in Gum Tissue
- Pain While Chewing or Swallowing
As bacteria grows and is left untreated it forms Gingivitis – when gingivitis is not properly treated the end result could be tooth loss; caused by the destruction of tissue surrounding your tooth.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease; at this stage gums become red, swollen and can easily bleed. At this stage the effects are not permanent, no irreversible bone or tissue loss has occurred. At this point, your gums are only inflamed or bleed during brushing; however teeth are still firmly attached in your jaw.
When gingivitis is not treated the infection can lead to Periodontitis. When you are diagnosed with periodontitis, the inner layer between your gums and bone has been pulled away from the teeth and its pockets. This open area can become infected by the accumulated bacteria. As a defense mechanism your body immune system will attack the bacteria, but it will also begin to break down the bone and connective tissue supporting your teeth.
If the disease is not stop and continues to progress, the infection will continue to deepen the gum pockets, destroying more gum tissue and bone. At this stage teeth are no longer anchored in their placed, they have become loss and tooth loss is inevitable.
Fact: Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults in the U.S.
Gum Disease – Risk Factors:
- Diabetes – Diabetes is a disorder in endocrine system (hormone); these hormonal changes increase the risk of developing infections.
- Genetic Factors – Your genetic make-up; can increase the risk of developing certain diseases, for example: cancer, diabetes, or gum disease.
- Hormonal Changes (Women) – Hormones can affect and make your gums more sensitive, increasing risk of gum disease.
- Prescription Medication – Some medications affect the flow of saliva, causing dry-mouth (Xerostomia); the decrease flow of saliva increase bacteria build-up leading to numerous infections.
- Smoking – tobacco attaches to the patient’s bone and soft tissue of your teeth. Smoking tobacco products makes smokers vulnerable to infections and affects blood flow in the gums.
Treating Gum Disease
When treating gum disease your dentist main goal is to remove and control the infection affecting your gums. Treatments options will vary, depending on the extent of damage. During diagnosis, your dentist could make several suggestions; among them he might advise you to avoid alcoholic beverages or to quit smoking. If you follow this suggestion, there is an increase that the treatment outcome will be positive. Today dentist use 3 main methods to treat gum disease: Bone Graft, Deep Cleaning or Flap Surgery.
- Bone Graft – during this gum surgery, your dentist or periodontist will place natural or synthetic bone in the area where bone has been loss, promoting bone to re-grow.
- Deep Cleaning – your dentist will remove plaque and tartar that has build-up by scaling or root planning; scrapping your gum line and teeth. In some cases your dentist may use a dental laser to complete this dental procedure.
- Flap Surgery – when your gums become inflamed bacteria can deposit into your deep pockets. During this surgery your dentist will use a scalpel to make an incision in the gums, lifting the area back and removing tartar by scraping the surface of your teeth or in severe cases using a laser.
Keeping your Teeth and Gums Healthy
To keep your gums clean and healthy we advise you to follow these steps.
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss Regularly
- Do not skip your dental appointments
- If you smoke – Quit
By following these steps, your smile and gums will be strong, healthy and clean.
Our professional can help you, if you are suffering from this or any other oral disease. Contact us and we invite you to read how to reduce or prevent this disease and many other by reading this post and others.
The steps and procedures mentioned in this post are procedures available in the medical field; however, not all these treatments and procedures are perform at Sani Dental Group. To confirm if this procedure is perform at our dental clinics, please contact us directly.