A Crash Course on Gum Disease

worried crash course on gum diseaseIt isn’t the most common dental health issue in the United States (that would be cavities), but gum disease still affects the majority of adults—approximately 70%, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Despite its prevalence, and in light of the fact that it is also the leading cause of adult tooth loss, gum disease can and should be prevented (or controlled) with proper care and maintenance. To help you successfully protect your smile from the condition, we offer a brief crash course on the pertinent facts about gum disease.

A Break-Down of Gum Disease

Causes

There are several things that can increase your risk of gum disease, like smoking or not practicing good hygiene. Yet, the exact cause is typically the same—as oral bacteria overwhelm your gums, they can lead to infection, inflammation, gum recession (pulling away from your teeth), and eventually full-blown gum disease. Some oral bacteria specifically incite inflammation in your gums while evading your immune system’s attempts to drive them out.

Complications

As gum disease spreads and matures, it destroys the gums, periodontal tissues, and jawbone that support your teeth, making it a main contributor to adult tooth loss. Because of oral bacteria’s ability to manipulate inflammation, gum disease can also be a risk factor for certain inflammatory health conditions, as well. When your gums are diseased and bleeding, inflammation-causing bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause unchecked inflammation in other areas of your body.

Prevention and Treatment

The best way to protect your oral and overall health from gum disease is to prevent it, which is most effectively done with excellent daily hygiene and regular dental care. Brushing and flossing twice every day helps control bacteria and plaque buildup, while routine dental checkups and cleanings allow us to clean away residual plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) for more comprehensive protection. If gum disease develops, it may not be reversible, but it can be controlled with the same principles after the bacteria and infection have been thoroughly cleaned from underneath your gums.

ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY DENTISTS:

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.