Gum Disease: You Probably Have It And Don’t Know It
Right now, as you are reading this, over 500 different kinds of active micro-organisms make your mouth their cozy home. When you figure that each species or kind may consist of 100,000 individual bacteria, it’s easy to see why 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: chow down on food left in your teeth and make bacteria babies.
In reality, there is one more thing the germs do and that’s what causes all the problems. They defecate 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 can damage the teeth and gums.
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 after brushing
• bright red color to gums
• sores on the gums
• inflamed gums
• bad breath
If you schedule regular cleanings with Frank C. Stone, DDS and follow our hygienists’ advice on home care, the plaque can be kept to a minimum and gum disease can be averted. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also very simple to fix if treated early by Frank C. Stone, DDS.
Our hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that take off the plaque coating that normal brushing can’t get to. They also offer education and instruction on how to get rid of the most plaque possible at home.
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 usually painless early on, so you may not know you have it. Add to that the fact that gum disease is almost impossible for the patient to diagnose on their own and it becomes obvious why you need to see us regularly. At every visit, 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 just below the 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 more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket. Over time, pockets can become 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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