Gum Disease: More Common Than The Common Cold
Right now, as you are reading this, over 500 species of bacteria are living in your mouth. And that’s just KINDS of bacteria. Given that each kind can consist of well over 100,000 bacteria, you can understand why some dentists say that your mouth is home to more individual bacteria than there are people in New York City. And, just like New York City, they NEVER go to sleep. They only do two things: munch on food left in your teeth and make bacteria babies.
Well, actually, there is one more thing the bacteria do and that’s what causes all the problems. They dump out their waste product. That bacteria is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is a result of plaque, the ugly coating 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.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
• bleeding gums during brushing
• blood red color to gums
• mouth sores
• inflamed gums
• bad breath (halitosis)
If you schedule regular cleanings with Frank C. Stone, DDS and follow our hygienists’ advice on home care, it is possible to remove the plaque and prevent gum disease. In addition, gum disease’s damages to teeth and gums are also quite simple to fix if caught early by Dr. Stone.
Our hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that remove the plaque accumulation that at-home brushing misses. 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. Stone strongly suggests getting professional cleanings at least every six months.
Gum disease is oftentimes painless in the early stages, so you may not know you have it. Couple that with the fact that gum disease is virtually impossible for the patient to diagnose on their own and it becomes obvious why you need to see us regularly. At your cleanings, Dr. Stone and a hygienist will take depth readings of the v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to determine if you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks at the connection of your teeth and gum line in the sulcus, where it breaks down the connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease. Over time, pockets can get so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And, that’s when they fall out.
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