Did you know that most people don’t show indications of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s? This oral disease is commonly caused when bacterial plaque builds up along and under the gum line because it isn’t removed every day through proper oral hygiene.
You see, the mouth harbors millions of bacteria that mix with mucus and oral debris to form plaque. This is a sticky, transparent film that coats the teeth and gums. It is also why you need to brush and floss every single day, to keep this plaque from hardening into tartar that will need to be removed by a professional dental cleaning using special tools.
The problem with plaque and tartar is that they harm your teeth and gums over time. This bacterial coating inflames your gum tissue which is known as gingivitis. At this stage, the gums tend to bleed easily and become red and swollen. This is the early stage of gum disease and is considered mild. It is generally reversible with daily brushing and flossing and routine dental cleanings.
But over time, if it isn’t addressed, gingivitis progresses to “periodontitis”, or inflammation around the tooth. At this stage, the gums recede from the teeth, forming spaces known as “pockets”. These pockets become infected, and as your body’s immune system fights the bacteria, plaque spreads and prospers under the gum line. This immune response to the infection, along with the bacterial toxins begin breaking down the bone and connective tissue which hold your teeth in position. Periodontitis which is left treated will eventually destroy the bones, gums, and tissue which support your pearly whites. Once that happens, the teeth may loosen and require removal.
You can fight gum disease by brushing and flossing every day and seeing your dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. To schedule your next visit with our dentist, Dr. Christopher Pavletic, please call Trine Dental Group in Orland Park, Illinois, at 708-448-2588 today.