Gum Disease: You Probably Have It And Don’t Know It
Right now, as you are reading this, over 500 unique types of wiggling germs are happy and comfortable living in your mouth. When you figure that each species or kind may consist of 100,000 individual bacteria, it becomes clear 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 sleep. They only do two things: chow down on food left in your teeth and make more germs.
In reality, there is one more thing the bacteria do and that’s what causes all the problems. They excrete waste product. That bacteria is toxic to your teeth and gums.
The major cause of gum disease is plaque, the icky layer of bacteria excrement that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s excrement (plaque) has chemicals that attack your teeth and your gum tissue.
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 when brushing
• blood red color to gums
• mouth sores
• swollen gums
• bad breath
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 very simple to reverse when treated early by Frank C. Stone, DDS.
Our hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that get rid of the plaque build-up that normal brushing fails to remove. They also provide education and instruction on how to get the maximum benefit from brushing and flossing.
Gum disease is usually painless early on, so you may not know you have it. Add to that 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 each checkup, Dr. Stone and a hygienist will take depth readings of the v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to identify whether you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks at the connection of your teeth and gum line in the sulcus, where it damages the supporting and 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 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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