Periodontal / Gum Disease

Oral health is very important to your overall health. There are many things that can happen to your teeth, gums and jaw that could have a big impact on the way your body feels. Oral health is not something that should be ignored. Doing that can cause serious health problems later on. A person needs to realize that oral health goes beyond brushing your teeth on a daily basis. It is also important to consider the health of your gums.

About Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, occurs more often than people imagine. The issue could begin as a minor irritation of the gums. There may be a little redness or swelling involved. This could be due to normal activities such as eating, drinking or smoking cigarettes. Over the course of the day a layer of plaque will form on the teeth and gums. When the plaque combines with bacteria that is present, the result could be gum disease.

Brushing the teeth is the first defense against gum disease. This will help remove the plaque and tartar that builds up. If not all of the tartar is removed, it can turn into gingivitis. This is a gum disease characterized by redness and swelling. If left untreated, the gums may bleed and eventually lead to more serious health issues. Some of the diseases associated with gum disease include diabetes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Preventing Gum Disease

The easiest way to prevent gum disease is by maintaining good oral hygiene practices. That includes the brushing and flossing that is taught at a very young age. It also includes taking trips to the dentist at least once a year for a more thorough exam. During the exam, the dentist will look for signs of gum disease. They will check the gums visually and will also check them digitally. They will also examine the depth of the gums. All of this information will be used to evaluate the gums for any signs of disease.

The only way that a dentist can check for gum disease is visually and manually. There are no special tests that they will do to determine if an individual has any problems.

Gum disease progresses very slowly. It takes time for the gums to become infected to a point where they are causing serious damage to an individual’s health. That is why the bi-annual cleanings and the annual comprehensive exams are so important. At the cleanings, the dentist is able to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that has occurred since the last cleaning. The dentist has the knowledge and the tools to get a more thorough cleaning than the individual can get on their own. The dentist will remove any particles that are trapped in their gums using specialized tools and then can use water to irrigate the gums. The end result is cleaner teeth and gums as well as a healthier mouth.

Gum disease is not something that people think about when they go to the dentist. Fortunately, dentists do understand it and will do what is needed to make sure their patients are healthy, happy and smiling.