People seldom consider their gums when they think about oral health. Usually, the focus is on the teeth and whether or not there are any cavities. However, as people age, the number one loss of teeth occurs as a result of gum disease, not tooth decay. This loss occurs needlessly because when discovered and treated in its early stages with family dentistry, gum disease is treatable and can be easily reversed.
Treatment for gum disease, also known as gingivitis, begins with cleaning the teeth and gums thoroughly. The gums are measured around each tooth to determine the extent of the disease and checked for infection. In some instances, medication may need to be placed in the gums to help ward off infection. In the mildest cases of gum disease, special toothpaste and/or mouthwash may be prescribed to help the healing process. If the regime is followed faithfully, the disease will soon be eradicated.
Gum disease begins when a clear, sticky substance builds up on the teeth. This substance is called plaque. It hardens into tartar, or calculus, as it accumulates on the teeth. As the tartar builds up, it pushes the gums away from the teeth. This causes pockets to form between the teeth and the gums. Food debris gets caught in these pockets since they are difficult to clean sufficiently. This accumulation causes the situation to get worse as toxins build up, causing infection to grow in the gums. The gums become swollen, bright pink or red and may bleed from time to time while brushing. Antibiotics may need to be prescribed if the infection is severe.
With regular dental checkups, gingivitis is usually discovered long before it gets to this stage. However, if oral health is neglected, the easily treatable gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can put you at risk of losing teeth. Research is also showing a correlation between gum health and general health. Gum disease has been linked to some serious health issues such as cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes and pregnancy issues.
Treating gum disease in its early stages is the best way to keep your gums and your body healthy. If it has been a while since you have had a dental checkup and professional cleaning, contact Axiom Dentistry today for an appointment for a comprehensive exam. If you notice any of the signs of gum disease, be sure to call us for an appointment right away. Stop gingivitis before it stops you.