Regular Visits to the Dentist May Be More Important Than You Think
Gum disease affects many Americans today, and not just the elderly. Once you get it, it is a good idea to continue with a regular dental check up to ensure it remains under control. A gum infection that gets out of control can become very serious.
This mild form of gum disease is usually not much of a problem at this stage. Although there is a gum infection present, it is not serious at this point. Your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and floss. They may also appear to be red and inflamed, and they may be receding, making your teeth appear longer. You can usually get rid of gingivitis simply by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing.
Although the gingivitis symptoms may disappear and your gums appear to be healthy again, you need to know that it is not gone permanently. The truth is that there really is no cure for gum disease. You can only keep it under control. The bad bacterium that causes it is always present in your mouth, so controlling it is mandatory.
The Problem with Inflammation
When you have any form of gum disease, it is a good time to see a dentist for specialized care. While the gum disease itself at this point may not be serious, the inflammation is a problem. Inflammation has been linked to many other serious diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke. It has also been connected to COPD, several forms of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's, low birth weight, and many more.
Even though you may only have gingivitis at this point, getting a dental check up can help ensure you bring it under control quickly. It is the same bacteria that cause gum disease that also causes all these other health issues, so eliminating the inflammation quickly may actually help you live longer.
Periodontitis is the gum disease that you want to avoid. By getting rid of the gingivitis symptoms when you can, you will not need to be concerned about this form of gum infection. Periodontitis is actually caused by the same bacteria as gingivitis; it is merely the natural progression of it if you do not take care of your teeth and gums.
At this stage, the bacteria causing the gum infection begins to cause pockets to be formed in your gums. It hides in these pockets and begins to build colonies that produce acid. The acid begins to break down your gums, the structures holding your teeth in place, and even your jaw bone. At first you will likely notice pus at the gum line. This will be followed by spaces developing between your teeth, then loose teeth, and then some teeth will just fall out if preventive steps are not taken.
Signs of Gum Disease
During a regular dental check up, a dentist can easily identify the condition of your teeth and gums. If you have gum disease, the dentist will be able to tell what stage it is at, and what treatment is needed. Common gum disease symptoms include:
Red or swollen gums
Bad breath that will not go away
Pain when chewing
Teeth that are sensitive
Some people develop an advanced periodontal disease rather quickly. They may even have good health otherwise. They will find that they will lose gum tissue and bone rapidly, but it may be limited to parts of their mouth, or to all of it.
The Primary Aim of Treatment
With gum disease treatment, the main goal will be to bring the infection under control. This will help to stop the bacteria from doing further damage.
Gum Disease Causes
Several things can lead to the development of gum disease. The primary cause is a lack of taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing. Other causes may lead to the development of gum disease, even when proper dental care is given. These things include:
The use of tobacco
Crooked teeth that make it difficult to keep clean
Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Regular dental checkups are important so that you can know when you have gum disease. This should encourage you to start taking better care of your teeth. If you are already doing that, then the dentist can advise you concerning a treatment plan and follow up visits will reveal the progress of the treatments.
After your gum disease has progressed to a more serious level, a regular dentist will refer you to a periodontist for treatment. This type of dentist specializes in treating periodontitis and can perform surgery to repair damaged gums and bone, as well as provide dental implants and other tooth replacement options.
If you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, you can get a regular dental check up for gum disease at the offices of Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. For more information, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.