According to a study at the University of Connecticut, too much toothpaste early in life is responsible for more than 70% of fluorosis cases (staining or mottling of tooth enamel that develops when children swallow fluoridated toothpaste). Although this problem is only cosmetic, it is recommended children under six only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be reminded to spit it out after brushing.
Caring for your oral health includes regular teeth care and gum care. Neglecting your gums can eventually lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, which is a culprit for the deterioration of your overall oral health. Periodontal disease affects 75% of adults over 35 years of age and is responsible for approximately 70% of all adult tooth loss. Since symptoms of periodontal disease oftentimes are unnoticeable, people never realize their mouth is under bacterial attack.
Highly recognized as a greatly progressive disorder, periodontal disease is triggered by preventable factors like plaque build-up, tobacco use, certain medications and stress, as well as unpreventable measures like systematic disease and fluctuating hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Research proves up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.
Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in the sticky film which forms on the tooth surface, or plaque, causes gum inflammation. If the irritation is ignored, plaque will release toxins breaking down the natural fibers which hold your gums to your teeth, permitting even more bacteria and toxins to invade. Plaque deposits quickly harden into calculus or tartar, which is a rough, porous substance not removable with brushing. Over time, this progression can lead to severe inflammation, bone loss, gum recession and tooth loss.
Symptoms and signs include:
- Red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums
- Gum recession, or gums pulling away from teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between the gum and tooth
- Persistent bad breath
- Bite changes
- Change in the fit of partial dentures
If you have noticed any of the above signs or symptoms, please make an appointment promptly! Together, we can win the battle against periodontal disease and maintain your wonderful, dazzling smile: gums and all. Now that’s something to smile about.