Healthy gums are important to healthy teeth, and healthy teeth are important to the process of feeding your body the nutrients that keep it healthy. Therefore, you can quickly see how gum disease has the potential to influence your overall quality of life.
In simplest terms, having gum disease means that the tissue that supports your teeth is infected. This infection is dangerous to the body and can potentially lead to tooth loss and other health risks.
The mouth is filled with bacteria that form plaque on your teeth. This is a natural process that happens to everyone. Therefore, we have to brush our teeth and floss to get rid of this plaque. But if plaque isn’t removed, it soon hardens and forms tartar or calculus, which cannot be removed by brushing.
At this point, only your dental office can safely and effectively remove tartar through professional cleaning.
If plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, they become increasingly harmful to your mouth. The bacteria cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums, leaving them red, swollen and likely to bleed. On the gum disease spectrum, gingivitis is relatively mild and can be treated with daily brushing and flossing, as well as a regular cleaning at our office.
But if gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to inflammation around the teeth called periodontitis, which is when gum disease starts to get serious. Here’s what happens with periodontitis:
The gums pull away from the teeth, which leaves pockets that become infected. Plaque continues to spread and grows beneath the gum line. Next the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place begin to break down, due to the bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection.
If this unhealthy scenario remains untreated, your teeth are likely to become loose and need to be removed, because the bones, gums and tissue that once supported them have been decimated.
But the good news is that there’s no need to lose your smile to gum disease. The choice is yours, and we’re here to help you maintain pristine oral health. It’s simple:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day.
2. Floss once a day.
3. Eat a well-balanced diet.
4. And come to visit us for your regular checkups and cleanings.