Gum disease is one of the most common chronic dental health issues, and it’s the most common cause of adult tooth loss in America. Yet, the problem with gum disease isn’t that it’s difficult to treat; on the contrary, timely dental treatment has helped many patients prevent or control their gum disease before significant damage occurs.
The problem is that many patients don’t realize that they have the disease until it’s too late, when the damage to your gums and periodontal tissues becomes obvious. By knowing how gum disease forms and the best way to treat it, you can save your smile from tooth loss and other complications that could arise from the presence of gum disease.
Plaque, Gingivitis, and Gum Disease
The origins of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) can be traced back to the oral bacteria that form plaque and linger along your gum line. These microbes can work their way underneath your gums, forming plaque on your teeth roots and causing inflammation in your gums—or gingivitis.
If ignored, the infection will grow worse, causing irreversible damage to your gums, the periodontal tissues around your teeth’s roots, and eventually, your underlying jawbone structure. If you don’t visit your dentist on a regular basis, then you may not notice the symptoms of gum disease until it’s already in its severe stage.
Protecting Your Smile from Gum Disease
The best protection for your smile is to maintain excellent hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice and floss at least once, paying special attention to your gum line. Also, be sure to attend a checkup and cleaning appointment as often as your dentist recommends (typically, no more than six months apart). If you exhibit signs of gingivitis, then your dentist can perform deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, to remove the harmful oral bacteria from underneath your gums.
Improve your chances of preserving your smile by learning how gum disease forms and how you can treat it. Schedule a visit today by calling our dental office in Sunnyvale, CA at (408) 720-0900.