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All About Gums

Published on October 14, 2014 by

Healthy GumsWhen we think of our teeth’s health we have to also remember the importance of our gums. Imagine building a house. You would want a good solid foundation to build your house on; well, the same principle applies to your teeth.

Picture your gum as that solid strong ground were your teeth can only live a long, healthy and disease-free life. So the goal is healthy teeth and healthy gums!

With regular professional cleaning, good home care habits, and regular check up you can stay right on target. As we brush our teeth, a gentle circular brush of the gums and flossing (we recommend flossing once a day), you will give your gums a good chance to stay healthy and provide the foundation your teeth need.

What about gum disease?
It is unfortunate, but it is a fact that gum disease affect an important portion of the American population. Gum disease comes in different levels of seriousness, from a curable gingivitis to advanced periodontal disease which if left untreated can lead to bone loss.

Healthy gums are pink near the teeth, not white or red, if your gums look pale or irritated, you should consult with a dentist as soon as possible as it can be a sign of gum disease.

Gingivitis
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in plaque. The gums become red, swollen and can bleed as well. The good news is that, when diagnosed early, a case of mild gingivitis can be turned around with the help of a dentist who will remove the heavy plaque your toothbrush did not remove.

Depending how advanced your case of gingivitis is, we will perform what is called a “deep cleaning”. A follow up visit will be necessary to assess your gums, and see if they have regained their pink, healthy and firm consistency. Some patients might require more frequent visits with the hygienist for three or four months before their gums are back to normal before they can go back to a bi-yearly cleaning regiment.

I want to stress that gingivitis is reversible a lot of the times when detected early. This is why it is important to contact a dentist at the first signs of the problem.

Periodontitis
When left untreated for a while, gingivitis can progress into much more serious issues, such as periodontitis.

Periodontitis, is a low grade infection of the gums. At this stage, even high quality brushing may not control the disease because of the amount of calculus accumulated around the teeth. If periodontitis is not treated it will slowly and painlessly destroy the bone which supports the teeth. Untreated, the disease will eventually cause tooth loss.

Early detection of gum disease, again, is the key avoid the spreading of the disease.

Beyond dental health
It is important to note that gum disease can affect our overall health. It can lead to serious health problems such as increased risks in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even stoke. It is an active infection, and unless stopped, it progresses slowly in your mouth and body.

Filed under: Holistic Dentistry
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