Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What you didn’t know about Gum Disease

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Periodontal Treatment - Dentist Newbury ParkGum disease, also called periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the tissues and bone that support the teeth.

Gum disease is generally caused by a buildup of plaque, which is a colorless and sticky layer of germs that naturally forms on teeth and gums. This plaque contains bacteria and other particles, which produce toxins that damage your gums.

Gum disease progresses in different stages:
If plaque from teeth and gums isn't removed by good daily dental care, and regular professional care, over time it will harden into a crust called tartar, which can only be removed by a professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist. Once tartar forms, it starts to destroy gum tissue, resulting in bleeding and weakening of the gums which causes them to pull away from the teeth, forming a pocket around the base where bacteria comes in and causes further destruction of the gums and bone. This will eventually cause so much bone loss that the teeth become loose. This is what we call Periodontitis.

What are usual signs of gum disease?
  • Bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth

Risk Factors of Gum Disease

  • Genetics plays an important role in gum disease development.
  • Hormonal changes in women can make gums more sensitive, allowing gum disease to develop more easily.
  • Diabetics are more likely to develop infections including gum disease.
  • Some medications affect the flow of saliva which directly affects the development of gum disease.
  • Smoking can increase the chances of gum disease by lowering the body’s ability to fight of the oral infection.
  • Systemic diseases such as cancers are strongly correlated with gum disease.

Gum Disease Treatment

Some ways we treat gum disease are:

Gum disease therapy: This involves the removal of plaque and tartar (the underlying cause of the disease) from teeth above and below the gum line.

Antimicrobials & Antibiotics: These and other medications are often used together with gum disease therapy to stop the spread of infection and inflammation in the mouth.

Surgery: If the disease if left untreated for a prolonged period, the only successful form of treatment may be surgery.

Can gum disease affect other aspects of my body as well?

Yes! There have been many studies showing a correlation between gum disease and other systemic diseases.

People with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease. Other studies show that women with gum disease are more likely to deliver preterm, low birth weight babies.  Experts agree that there is an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions. The inflammation that occurs in the gums can travel through the body, into the blood stream and to the heart, where it can lead to further inflammation.

Now you know many reasons to start caring for your dental health, visit us at Westlake Smile Design today and enjoy life with a healthy smile!

Please don't hesitate to contact our dentists in Westlake Village if you have any questions or concerns about any of our dental services. Call us at (805) 497-9585.


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Mary Johnson said...

Hey Buddy,

I agree that Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque that is a colorless and sticky layer of germs that naturally forms on teeth and gums. The good news is gum disease is easy to treat and prevent. Daily brushing and flossing plus regular professional cleans by your dentist or hygienist reduces your risk of developing gingivitis. With the help of facettes dentaires we can get beautiful smile easily.


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