Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious. It is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the early stage of gum disease known as Gingivitis. Left untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. Except for bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signals. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth and you don’t know why.
Tooth loss is only the most obvious indicator of gum disease. Scientific research has discovered linkage between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes – even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened.
In the past, fear of painful dental surgery has kept people with gum disease from seeking the care they needed. Well, those days are gone forever.
IN THE BEGINNING IT’S PAINLESS… DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT HURTS…
It affects 87% of the population, and often victims are unaware. There are warning signs that we and the American Dental Association want you to understand…
Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as GINGIVITIS, is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. Plaque that is not removed hardens into a deposit called calculus (tartar). Only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove calculus deposits. When periodontal disease occurs, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming small pockets that become filled with more plaque.
As time goes on the plaque moves down along the roots of the teeth, making the pockets deeper, eventually, the irritants will destroy the bone supporting the teeth. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become painfully loose and fall out or must be removed. This could result in the need for fillings or dental implants. Act now and keep your teeth for a lifetime.
We are all well trained and experienced in the latest, most up-to-date treatment modalities; including PERIOSTAT (which you may have seen on TV), local therapeutic medicaments, and non-surgical therapy.
3 Easy Ways You Can Prevent Gum Disease
DID YOU KNOW…
That the most common of gum diseases, gingivitis, affects anywhere from 50% to 75% of American adults? The most staggering statistic is that only about 60% of adults with gingivitis actually know they have it! You should consult with a professional cosmetic dentist if you are experiencing receding gums, sensitivity, or bleeding, as they could be indicative of periodontal disease.
GOOD BASIC DENTAL HABITS
Taking a proactive approach to your own dental care is the most important factor in preventing periodontal diseases. Actively brushing your teeth at least 2 times a day, with fluoride toothpaste, along with consistent flossing can rid your mouth of most of the harmful bacteria that lead to gum diseases. When you combine mouthwash with brushing and flossing you will achieve the best results.
It is also important to remember to always brush, floss and use mouthwash before eating or drinking anything. You shouldn’t eat before you begin your daily oral care because foods and drinks can weaken the enamel on your teeth. When you brush your teeth after consuming a food or drink you can potentially brush away existing enamel with your toothbrush. It is always best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything to brush!
SMART FOOD CHOICES
The food you consume can both positively and negatively affect your overall oral health. Foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar or acids can eat away at your enamel over time. These foods end up combining with saliva to create destructive plaque; that when untreated causes extensive decay damage to gums and teeth.
Sure, it sounds like you should never eat/drink any acidic or sugary foods/drinks, but when you take steps to counteract the harmful side effects, these foods and drinks can be enjoyed. Soda or pop is a very common drink being consumed world-wide. It is understandable to enjoy a refreshing soda, but it is important to realize what the soda is doing to your health. Soda is extremely corrosive, and can cause long term damage to your teeth when the proper steps are not taken to combat this tooth destroyer.
It is recommended if you drink soda that you do not consume it over a long period of time. Drinking soda throughout the day is like waves of acidic water crashing against your teeth. Eventually the waves begin to corrode and wear away at your teeth. You should not let the acidic soda sit in your mouth and allow it to continue eroding your teeth. It is best to rinse your mouth with water or a non-alcoholic mouth rinse as soon as possible after consuming a soda or acidic beverage.
Smoking and chewing tobacco causes a number of dental problems that can all be avoided by simply quitting. Yes, we understand that it isn’t easy to quit smoking, but the benefits of quitting are incontrovertible.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF SMOKING
- Tooth discoloration
- Bad breath
- Inflammation of salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increases your risk of oral cancers and gum diseases
- Accelerates bone loss within the jaw
- Increases the amount of plaque buildup on teeth
When you quit smoking or chewing tobacco you begin to regain more complete function of your lungs, increase ability to fight infections and diseases, and speeds up your body’s recovery time. The excess plaque that was accumulating because of smoking will soon decrease and with consistent care from a cosmetic dentist can be controlled and reduced.
SUM IT UP
The best way to treat periodontal disease is by making sure you never get it! Preventative care by yourself and your cosmetic dentist can increase your chances of never needing advanced care. If preventative maintenance isn’t enough to keep periodontal or gum diseases away, or perhaps the condition has worsened, it may be time to contact a professional cosmetic dentist. A cosmetic dentist can bring you in for a simple cleaning, diagnose the problem, and help you reverse the effects of gum disease. By following the 3 Easy Ways You Can Prevent Gum Disease steps, you can make sure you keep that smile brighter!
Periodontal diseases, commonly referred to as gum disease, can be anything from continued inflammation of the gums to a serious condition that can cause damage to the soft tissue and bone that protect the teeth. Depending on the severity of the case, it is possible to lose a single tooth, or potentially multiple teeth. Most often the gum disease can be controlled or treated by a professional cosmetic dentist.
Dr. Rodo is a Cosmetic Dentist in the Buffalo, NY area. His office is located in Orchard Park, NY. Call him if you are experiencing any of these gum disease symptoms or continue to browse his website.