Gum disease is a common problem for many Americans. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates 75% of the country suffers from some form of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease may cause tooth loss and other serious conditions.
How to Spot Gum Disease
The first sign of gum disease is often inflammation of the gums, which is called gingivitis. Marked by red, swollen gums, gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that can cause gums to bleed when brushing. Usually gingivitis causes little or no discomfort, and can be difficult to recognize.
Without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is a serious form of gum disease. Often, the initial signs of gum disease, such as an increase in gum bleeding, bad breath, and gum recession (which may make your teeth appear longer), are missed.
How Does Gum Disease Cause Tooth Loss?
Gum disease starts when plaque buildup causes harmful bacteria to grow in your mouth. If not removed by brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, plaque may spread below the gum line and release toxins that weaken the tissues and bones supporting the teeth. Advanced periodontal disease may cause teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
How to Prevent and Treat Gum Disease
Plaque on your teeth begins to harden within 48 hours and becomes tartar in 10 days. Good oral health care including daily brushing and flossing and professional dental cleanings by your dentist help prevent gum disease.
If your dentist diagnoses periodontal disease, a non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planning removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and root surfaces. In some cases oral surgery may be used to expose the tooth below the gum line for cleaning.
What if I Lose a Tooth?
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, but there are options for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants attach directly to the jawbone to simulate the biting pressure of a real tooth, which keeps your jaw strong. Next, a realistic crown is attached to the implant, blending in with your natural teeth. Dental implants look and feel like real teeth.
If you are concerned about a missing tooth, contact us to see if dental implants are a good option for you.
Posted on Fri, October 14, 2016
by Great Plains OMS filed under