To ensure your mouth stays healthy for the foreseeable future there are some preventive methods to help decrease the risk of oral diseases…At Curtis R. Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks California we pride ourselves on providing long term dental solutions rather than quick fixes that may need replaced in years to come. Following a regular oral hygiene routine and consistent checkups are part of maintaining your oral health. Did you know that adults over 35 years of age will lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities? The most effective way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by applying good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, each and every day.
What is gum disease?Gum disease is common, extremely common; in fact three out of four adults are affected by gum disease at some time in their life. The question is what are we doing about it? Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease. Plaque is produced by secretions that are made by microscopic bacteria on your teeth. By avoiding strict oral hygiene regime you are allowing plaque to gather between your teeth in crevices, and also create hard tartar which is virtually impossible to remove without the assistance of a dentist. There are two main stages of gum disease including gingivitis or gingival disease and periodontitis or periodontal disease (which can lead to the final and most severe stage where you may lose teeth and your gum line).
Tackle gingivitis to avoid further more serious gum disease…Gingivitis always starts off with a buildup of plaque on your teeth. When starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in our mouths, plaque can is formed and if ignored can lead to gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include:
- You may experience red o swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing
- Teeth that look elongated as a result of receding gums
If you’re past the stage of gingivitis you need to look into professional help to confront periodontitis…When gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis or periodontal disease, which refers to inflammation around the tooth. In periodontitis, gums end up pulling away from the teeth and form spaces, called pockets that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed, this is the most severe stage of gum disease and it could have been avoided with preventive at home care in the early stages. While ignoring gingivitis can lead to periodontitis the following factors can also contribute to this disease:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition