Gum Disease: More Yucky Than You Realize
Each and every day, 500 or more species of wiggling germs make your mouth their cozy home. And that’s just KINDS of bacteria. Given that each kind can consist of well over 100,000 bacteria, it becomes clear why some dentists say that your mouth has more bacteria living in it than there are people in the city of New York. And, just like New York city, they NEVER sleep. They only do two things: munch on food left in your teeth and make more germs.
Most people don’t like to talk about it, however, there is one more thing the germs do and that’s what causes all the problems. They excrete waste product. That bacteria poop is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is a result of plaque, the ugly coating of bacteria poop that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s poop (plaque) has chemicals that are destructive to your gums and your teeth.
Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) is very common in adults and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Research shows that over 75% of Americans age 35 and over have some form of gum disease as a result of medications, diet, or lack of adequate dental hygiene care.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
• bleeding gums after brushing
• bright red color to gums
• mouth sores
• inflamed gums
• bad breath
If you follow our advice about dental home care and schedule twice-a-year cleanings at Sanders & Loe Dentistry, it is possible to remove the plaque and prevent gum disease. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also amazingly easy to turn around if caught early by Sanders & Loe Dentistry.
Sanders & Loe Dentistry’s hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that remove the plaque accumulation that at-home brushing misses. They also offer education and instruction on how to get the maximum benefit from brushing and flossing.
Recent studies have shown an association between gum disease and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, low birth weight and diabetes. Because gum disease can have an adverse effect on your over-all health, Dr. Sanders and Dr. Loe strongly suggests getting professional cleanings at least every six months.
Gum disease is oftentimes painless early on, so you may not know you have it. Add to that the fact that gum disease is nearly impossible for the patient to diagnose on their own and it becomes obvious why you need to see us on a regular basis. At every visit, Dr. Sanders and Dr. Loe and a Sanders & Loe Dentistry hygienist will take depth measurements of the shallow, v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to identify whether you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks at the connection of your teeth and gum line in the sulcus, where it damages the supporting and connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease. Eventually, the pocket can get so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And, that’s when they fall out.