Gum Disease Prevention
Preventing Tooth Loss Includes Regular Trips to the Dentist
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the most common disease in the world, affecting 80% of the Canadian population. It affects people of all ages. Gum disease is generally divided into two categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis literally means inflammation if the gingiva (or gums). This is caused by the bacteria in the mouth that stick to the teeth as plaque. This plaque is also a concern for causing cavities. Gingivitis is characterized by having gums that are dark pink to red that can be swollen and bleed easily when touched. They can be painful when you floss and brush. If you notice blood on the floss or when you are brushing your teeth, you likely have gingivitis. Gingivitis is the starting point for periodontitis. Periodontitis is all the same things as gingivitis with the addition of loss of bone around the tooth. In periodontitis, the plaque makes its way down the surface of the root and causes bone destruction. As the bone recedes around the tooth, the plaque can creep further down the root surface and cause even more bone destruction. This plaque can calcify and harden on the root surface as tartar. Tartar and plaque should be removed frequently both at home and by the dentist to prevent further bone loss.
Losing bone around the teeth is very serious because it is the bone that keeps the teeth sturdy in the jaw bone. If the tooth loses bone support, the tooth can start to become mobile (loose). If a tooth loses too much bone support, it may have to be extracted.
It is very important that patients keep their teeth clean at home and come regularly to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Most patients should see their dentist at least every 6 months for a cleaning. This helps keep the plaque away from your teeth so that there is no inflammation and the bone that holds your teeth stays intact.
For more information on Gum Disease and dental services provided by Riverside Heights Dental, Near the Guildford Mall in North Surrey, Contact your dentist today.