You know it’s not normal for your gums to bleed when you brush, but there’s just so much going on in your life that you’ll think about it tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow never comes, and things just get worse.
Periodontal disease does not go away on its own – in fact, it is an insidious little bugger that will continue to ravage your teeth and gums until you pay attention to it. At Dentistry by Dr. Kaplansky, we subscribe to the ageless dental theory that a head-in-the-sand approach is never, ever effective.
Gum Disease - Everything You Always Wanted to Know
Because we know that you really do want to enjoy excellent oral health, we’re going to give you a little primer on periodontal disease. We’ll explain what it is, what it does, and how you can tell if you’ve got it.
What it Is, and What it Does
- Plaque! You know how we keep talking about the importance of brushing and flossing? Food and drink work with saliva throughout the day to generate plaque on your teeth. When plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, the bacteria hardens into tartar.
- Tartar has an overwhelming desire to live on your teeth and is so committed to this goal that only a trained hygienist can remove it. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of your gum tissue caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth.
- Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. At this stage, infection is attacking your gums, causing tenderness, swelling, and that gross bleeding of your gums when you brush.
The good news is that gingivitis is reversible if we catch and treat it before it’s allowed to take over. The bad news is that left untreated, gingivitis leads to…
- Periodontitis, a nasty bacterial infection of the gums that spreads to your teeth, bones, and the tissue that holds your teeth in place. The gum and bone can detach from your teeth, and forms pockets between the teeth and gums. Yikes.
- These pockets are just waiting to collect bacteria and become infected. This can eventually lead to bone and tissue loss, loosening of the teeth, and eventual loss of teeth. Double yikes.
But we don’t want you to beat yourself up about letting gum disease go unchecked. Sometimes the symptoms of gingivitis are so mild that you don’t really notice anything wrong. This is why we are so relentless about scheduling regular dental exams.
How You Know if You’ve Got It
Here you go. We never said it’d be pretty.
- Red or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed after brushing or eating hard foods
- Receding gums
- Continual bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Change in bite alignment
- Loose teeth
If any - or, heaven forbid, all - of these are familiar to you, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve got some degree of gum disease. Fortunately, a professional cleaning by our hygienist can remove the tartar and plaque. We can then work with you to create a treatment plan that will get your gums back on the road to perfect health.
Contact our Office and Spread the Word!
With the help of Dr. Kaplansky and our amazing team, you can follow a treatment plan that keeps your teeth and gums healthy and strong. So get thee to your Gasport dental office and get control of gum disease before it gets control of you!
Final word - friends don’t let friends get gum disease, so help spread the word by giving us a like on Facebook!