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Gum Disease Facts

Clean Teeth Prevent Gum Disease

Dr. Cowen answers your questions about gum disease.
Gum Disease

Gum Disease

Over 86% of Americans have periodontal disease at different levels of progression. This could be amazing for many because the country is known to provide great healthcare. Periodontal disease can affect people from all ages starting from children and including even senior citizens. This is the prime reason why people lose their teeth. It can begin as a mild form known as gingivitis, and if it is not dealt with in time can progress to the advanced stage of periodontitis.

Identifying The Problem

Most people don’t recognize the condition until it has progressed to a later stage because periodontitis develops below the gum line. Advanced form of the disease can take months and at times even years before the symptoms become visible. As the condition progresses by you will begin to notice red and swollen gums, receding gum tissue, pain and bleeding at the gums, loosening of the teeth and halitosis which is also called bad breath.

Reasons for Gum Disease

Reasons for Gum Disease

A mixture of bacteria, saliva and food particles that regularly coat the teeth are called plaque, and this can happen above and below the gum line. Over time, the plaque is highly harmful and toxic to the teeth and accumulates in the gaps between the gums and teeth. The bacteria begin to cause infections and swelling. If not checked within time they begin to erode the jawbone and weaken the gum tissue and ligaments that hold the teeth in place.

Effects of This Condition

If periodontitis is not identified within time the bacteria can cause serious infections and swelling around the mouth. They can cause deeper crevices and eventually enter the bloodstream. The blood circulates them to other organs throughout the body where they begin to cause conditions like diabetes, kidney problems, strokes, heart conditions and certain types of cancer. Mothers of newborn babies who have periodontitis develop several problems within the uterus and are often born with premature or low birth-weight babies.

Treatment for Periodontitis

Treatment for Periodontitis

Prevention is the best method to deal with this condition. This can easily be achieved by practicing effective at home oral care with regular brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash. Recommendations to visit the dentist for regular checkups and to get extensive teeth cleaning procedures are also made by the American dental Association. This is specifically important if you already have other medical conditions. If you have not developed periodontitis, your oral care practitioner will advise a form of treatment according to the severity of the condition. The dentist may choose surgical or non surgical procedures when dealing with such problems. The non surgical approach will be used if it is just mild or moderate with the help of antibiotics to cure the infection. Severe conditions may be advised surgical intervention.

Despite the seriousness of the condition, only 3% of Americans who are affected take the necessary action to cure the problem, and this is perhaps the most unfortunate part within this country. You must always be looking to be one of the lucky 3% that will prevent more serious health issues with the regular dental care. Contact your dentist immediately if you have any of the symptoms mentioned throughout this discussion.

Real Stories

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