Nearly half of all Americans over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. That works out to about sixty-five million people. But at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park gum disease can be treated, and does not have to result in the loss of teeth.
What do your gums do?
The soft tissue in your mouth has a key job: it protects the roots of your teeth. It also provides a barrier for the connective tissues and ligaments that hold your teeth in their sockets, and the alveolar bone in which your teeth are anchored.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease starts with inflammation. Gums become swollen and tender. In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. As the disease advances, the gums pull away from the teeth, developing pockets. This is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.
What causes periodontitis?
Bacteria are always present in the oral cavity. When it is left on the teeth and gums, it turns into plaque. Plaque is a coating of bacteria on your gums and teeth. If it is not removed by rinsing, brushing, and flossing it accumulates. If plaque multiplies in the pockets around the teeth, the gum will start pulling away.
When plaque hardens, it is called tartar or calculus. You can’t brush away tartar with your toothbrush. You need to have a professional dental cleaning.
What are signs of gum disease?
- Inflamed gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- A change in the color of gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pain and tenderness
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Teeth that appear longer
- Growing spaces between teeth
- Changes in your bite
How does gum disease threaten your health?
Gum disease increases your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Low infant birth weight
Can periodontitis be prevented?
Yes. Thorough, daily oral hygiene, professional dental cleanings, and a sensible diet can keep gums healthy.
At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park we treat gum disease, and also offer family dentistry. Regular checkups help keep your teeth and gums in great shape. Call to schedule your next appointment with us today!
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