Giving Your Gums Attention Too
Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Many people have gum disease and don’t even know it! This can happen because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
However, even though it is painless, minor periodontal disease should not be ignored. The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. This occurs when the toxic byproducts created by plaque bacteria on your teeth cause your gums to become inflamed. If no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended.
The next stage is periodontitis. As plaque and tartar continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present at this stage. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and lost. Advanced periodontal disease is the number one reason for tooth loss. Research also suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy.
It is suggested to stay on a three-four month recall for routine dental cleanings until the bacteria is removed, your home care has improved, and pockets have decreased to a manageable depth.
Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection, speed healing, and prevent reinfection.
Your gums will thank you.