Gum Disease: More Yucky Than You Realize
Each and every day, 500 to 600 unique types of bacteria are happy and comfortable living in your mouth. When you figure that each species or kind may consist of 100,000 individual bacteria, you can understand why some dentists say that your mouth has more bacteria living in it than there are people in New York city. And, just like New York city, they NEVER sleep. They only do two things: munch on food left in your teeth and make more bacteria.
Most people don’t like to talk about it, however, there is one more thing they do and that’s what causes all the problems. They dump out their waste product. That bacteria poop is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is a result of plaque, the icky layer of bacteria excrement that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s excrement (plaque) has chemical compounds that attack your teeth and your gum tissue.
Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) is very common in adults and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Research shows that over 75% of Americans age 35 and over have some form of gum disease as a result of medications, diet, or lack of adequate dental hygiene care.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
• bleeding gums during brushing
• cherry red color to gums
• mouth sores
• swollen gums
• bad breath (halitosis)
If you follow our advice about dental home care and schedule twice-a-year cleanings at Gladstone Family Dental Group, the plaque can be removed and gum disease can be prevented. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also quite simple to turn around when addressed early by our hygienists.
Gladstone Family Dental Group’s hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that take off the plaque build-up that normal brushing can’t get to. They also offer education and instruction on how to get the maximum benefit from brushing and flossing.
Recent studies have shown an association between gum disease and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, low birth weight and diabetes. Because gum disease can have an adverse effect on your over-all health, Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale strongly suggest getting professional cleanings at least every six months.
Gum disease is usually painless at the beginning, so you may not be aware that you have it. Couple that with the fact that gum disease is almost impossible for the patient to self-diagnose and it becomes obvious why you need to see us regularly. At every visit, Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale and a Gladstone Family Dental Group hygienist will take depth readings of the v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to diagnose if you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks just below the gum line in the sulcus, where it damages the supporting and connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket. Eventually, pockets can get so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And, that’s when they fall out.