Many people think of oral health, and they think of beautiful, strong teeth. All too often, the pink frame around those pearly whites is overlooked. However, keeping you gums healthy may be the most important thing you can do to protect your teeth, and overall health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease begins with plaque on your teeth. If it is not removed, it turns to a hard substance called calculus or tartar. Both plaque and tartar harbor harmful bacteria, which infect and irritate the gum tissues. At first, there are no noticeable symptoms. The very earliest stages are usually only detected by a dental professional. As the disease progresses, gums become inflamed and irritated, separating from the teeth.
This is the early form of gum disease. It is also the most treatable. At this point, your gums may appear somewhat red and swollen, and bleed easily when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis can be cured before any damage to your teeth or bone occurs.
Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, often called periodontal disease. At this stage, pockets are forming around the teeth, which fill with bacteria. Infection begins eating away at the bone and teeth begin loosening. This stage of gum disease is treatable, but some degree of irreversible bone loss has likely occurred. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more damage it can do.
Periodontal disease is known to be the number one cause of adult tooth loss in developed nations. According to some studies, it is also the leading cause of bone loss, even surpassing osteoporosis. However, the damages of untreated periodontal disease don’t stop with oral health. It has been linked with a number of serious medical conditions including:
Although the exact nature of the link between periodontal disease and systemic health problems is not yet fully understood, it represents one more reason why dental care is so important!
We use scaling and root planing, commonly known as deep cleaning, to remove plaque, tartar, and infection between teen and below the gumline. This is one part of treatment. The other part is up to you – diligent oral hygiene can make the difference in success or failure of treatment. We will provide education and advice on effective techniques and products to use for optimal results. We are your partners in oral health; together we can win the war against gum disease, with gentle non-surgical techniques.
Call Rush Creek Dentistry at (682) 277-0535 and schedule an appointment today. We want you to have a healthy, beautiful smile for a healthy, happy life!