Each week it seems that new research is announced that connects gum disease to other diseases in the human body. We know that gum disease is connected to heart disease, that it affects blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and the bacteria from periodontal disease has been found in the amniotic fluid of premature babies. Gum disease is easily preventable with regular dental hygiene visits and good brushing and flossing habits.
Gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease. The disease begins when we fail to adequately remove plaque that is constantly forming on our teeth. Plaque is a colorless sticky deposit of bacteria and their byproducts. The plaque acts as an irritant, think of how a pebble might irritate your foot if it is stuck in your shoe. Remove the pebble the sore on your foot heals, likewise remove the plaque and the gums heal and return to a healthy state.
If the plaque is not removed, however, it will begin to form tartar. Tartar or calculus (as it is called by dental professionals) is a hard calcified substance that can not only affect the gums but also the jaw bone.
Periodontal disease is, for the most part, asymptomatic. If you are experiencing pain from periodontal disease then the disease has become chronic and much more difficult to resolve. Fortunately, modern dental science offers better treatment options for gum disease than in the past.
The best treatment for gum disease is prevention. Maintain good home care, brushing and flossing each day. Visit your dental hygienist at least twice each year. If you are experiencing the early stages of gum disease you may be placed on a 90 day recall schedule. This is not a random time frame but rather because at approximately 90 days the bacteria that causes gum disease begins to re-colonize when tested in a lab.
Your total health and well being is important to us at Desert Smiles. Scottsdale cosmetic dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox and his experienced team will answer all your questions about gum disease and your overall health. Please contact us today to schedule your next dental cleaning.