Gum disease is a progressive condition that can have serious consequences if not promptly treated, including tooth loss. Regular checkups with your dentist are essential for catching the disease early and taking proactive measures to prevent its onset. Find out why this ailment develops and what you should do to prevent it.
What You Should Know About Gum Disease
How Gum Disease Starts
Mouths are naturally full of bacteria. This bacteria combines with other particles to create a film over your teeth called plaque. Brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings will remove this plaque, keeping your teeth healthy. If you don’t care for your teeth, however, this plaque has a chance to harden, making it difficult to remove. As plaque accumulates over your teeth, it traps acids that wear away the enamel of your teeth and lead to gum disease. Certain habits like smoking also increase your likelihood of developing gum disease.
How Gum Disease Progresses
The first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, occurs when bacteria infiltrate the gums, causing inflammation. Early signs include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing teeth. This may be accompanied by plaque buildup along the gum line and between teeth, which can cause discoloration.
If the condition progresses unchecked, it becomes periodontal disease. At this point, the gums begin to recede and pull away from the teeth. These small pockets further foster harmful bacteria, which incite an immune reaction that gradually erodes gums. Eventually you may experience permanent tooth loss as these supporting tissues deteriorate.
What Treatments Are Available
When diagnosed early enough by a dentist, a stringent teeth cleaning and flossing routine can stop gum disease’s progress. A later treatment option involves seeing your dentist for scaling and root planing. Scaling involves scraping plaque, toxic bacteria, and tartar deposits from teeth, while planing smooths rough areas to prevent bacteria from sticking. Prevention is the easiest and most effective approach to conquering gum disease.
If you notice symptoms of gum disease, the dentists of North Chautauqua Dental in Dunkirk, NY, will help. After a professional diagnosis is made, they’ll draw up a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your needs. These dental care professionals have been helping patients maintain beautiful smiles for over 25 years. Their comprehensive services include everything from veneers to root canals. For an appointment, call (716) 366-6822 or fill out the online form.