When people talk about dental health, it’s not always just about one’s teeth. A perfect smile isn’t simply composed of pearly white, flawless teeth. Optimal dental health also includes healthy gums, which play a big part in enhancing a person’s appearance. This is why leading dental practices in Temecula, CA such as K. Pat Brown, DDS, Inc. provide topnotch periodontal treatment for their clients to ensure overall oral health.
Importance of Good Gum Health
Taking care of your gums means practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist as scheduled (usually at least once every six months). Your gums are like soft skin that cover the bones of your teeth. Gums form a tight seal around each tooth to support the bone and serves as a barrier against bacteria. When plaque and bacteria invade the gums due to poor oral hygiene, these harmful microorganism can slowly destroy the gums and bones around your teeth. This can lead to gum inflammation, tenderness, bleeding, persistent bad breath, and movement of teeth (i.e. misalignment, gaps, etc.).
What are common periodontal diseases?
According to a study conducted by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, nearly 75 percent of Americans have gum disease, but are not aware of it. The early stages of gum disease can easily be ignored since gum problems can progress in a pain-free manner. The mildest form of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis typically involves red and swollen gums that bleed easily. It can be reversible with professional periodontal treatment and good oral home care. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis where plaque and bacteria have already spread below the gum line and irritated the gums. This bacterial invasion can result in gum infection and eventual loss of teeth.
What causes gum diseases?
Other than poor oral hygiene, factors that increase one’s risk of having gum disease or make it worse are smoking and tobacco use, genes, misaligned or crowded teeth, braces or bridgework, teeth grinding, changing hormone levels (i.e. puberty, pregnancy), certain medications (e.g. phenytoin, nifedipine), poor nutrition, and diseases like diabetes. Knowing the main culprits behind periodontal disease can help you steer clear of such risks or help you make better dental decisions.
Needless to say, the best way to prevent and manage gum disease is by visiting your dentist regularly and adhering to a good oral hygiene regimen. If you’re already suffering from gum problems, a deep cleaning procedure referred to as “root planing and scaling” may be enough as treatment. However, if a periodontal disease has severely progressed, surgical treatments such as soft tissue grafts and flap surgery may be necessary.
Periodontal Disease: Causes and Prevention, Colgate.com
Types of Gum Disease, Perio.org