November 24th, 2014
Do you need one more good reason to:
- Brush your teeth three times a day?
- Floss your teeth at least once a day?
- Visit Dr. Hadeed at least twice per year?
- Quit smoking?
Okay. You got it! Here is one more good reason to take excellent care of your mouth: Gum disease. Let’s back up for moment though, and look at what causes gum disease in the first place.
What causes gum disease?
It all starts with bacteria. Your mouth (I’m sorry to say) is full of bacteria. Don’t feel badly: We all have a ton of bacteria in our mouths. Some can be removed from brushing and flossing. Bacteria left in the mouth, along with other particles, can buildup to form a pesky plaque that covers your teeth. Plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing will eventually harden, causing tartar to form. This cannot be removed just from brushing and flossing; once you have tartar, you must visit the dentist to have it removed.
What IS gum disease?
Chances are, you have heard of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum caused by the buildup of bacteria, plaque and tarter in your mouth. When you have gingivitis, your gums will become red and swollen. Your gums will likely bleed easily when you brush, floss or even eat. Gingivitis is the start of gum disease.
When gingivitis progresses, a condition called periodontitis results. Periodontitis is caused when gingivitis is left untreated. When you are diagnosed with periodontitis, it means that your gums have pulled away from your teeth, forming spaces that have become infected. Eventually, this infection will cause the bone and tissue in your mouth to break down.
I think I have gingivitis. Am I doomed?
You are not! This is a mild form of gum disease that can typically be reversed. Just be sure to visit Dr. Hadeed regularly, brush regularly and floss regularly. If needed, Dr. Hadeed will advise you how to treat gingivitis at your next dental appointment.
Though this is a mild disease, it must be treated! You want to avoid asking the next question, which is:
I think I have periodontitis. What do I do?
Visit Dr. Hadeed. He will determine whether you have periodontitis and will properly treat it. Periodontitis, left untreated, will destroy the bones, gums and tissue in your mouth. This could eventually lead to loose and missing teeth.
We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Dr. Hadeed’s office in Clinton Township! Until then, keep taking good care of your mouth!