Healthy gums are important to your overall health. Tooth loss is an obvious problem if your gums are diseased, but unhealthy gums are also linked to serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. This is why it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist at Total Dental Care regularly to get gum care.
Gum disease starts with plaque buildup near the gumline. Bacteria in plaque irritate the soft tissues, causing inflammation and swelling. This early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If plaque is not removed and inflammation is left untreated, your gums may start to pull away from your teeth and form pockets. The pockets trap more bacteria, worsening the infection. Eventually, the bone supporting your teeth is destroyed, causing your teeth to loosen and fall out.
Gum disease is most common in adults, but it can occur at any age. It’s important to visit your Columbia dentist regularly so he can spot the earliest signs of gum disease and reverse it with the right treatment. See Dr. Forbes if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Tender and swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Loose or wobbly teeth
- Receding gums
What Your Dentist Can Do
The best defense against gum disease is prevention. Brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist at least twice a year (more often if you get lots of cavities). Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, can often be reversed with proper oral hygiene and professional cleaning. Dental prophylaxis is the only way to remove plaque that has hardened into tartar.
For advanced gum disease, root planing is recommended. Your dentist uses a special instrument to clean the tooth roots and make it hard for bacteria to stick to the surface. Antibiotics may also be used to treat infections.
What Will Happen If Gum Disease Is Left Untreated
If you don’t come into Total Dental Care to have your gum disease treated, there are a number of consequences that will affect your oral health, overall health, and your appearance. As mentioned above, when your gums recede far enough, your teeth can become loose and eventually fall out. When your teeth fall out, you will begin to lose gum tissue and bone that once surrounded your teeth. This will begin to thin out your jaw line and start to affect your appearance in a negative way. New wrinkles will start to form, and you will look older and older with the more bone you lose in your jaw. This can all easily be avoided by taking care of your teeth and ensuring that you don’t develop gum disease. We can help you with this at Total Dental Care!