Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory process that happens slowly over time.
Gum disease develops when plaque and tartar build up at and just beneath your gumline. The bacteria in the plaque and tartar irritate your gums and cause inflammation. This starts off a chain reaction that includes the bone and soft gum tissue pulling away from your teeth, destabilizing the foundation. If periodontal disease goes untreated, you will eventually lose your teeth.
The biggest problem with gum disease is that it rarely causes pain, so many people wind up having the disease without even realizing it. When this process is caught early on, it is easily reversible. If treatment is delayed, however, the condition becomes something that can be managed or treated but not cured.
The good news is that preventing gum disease doesn't have to be complicated. While some people are more prone to getting gum disease due to genetics or systemic conditions like diabetes, there are ways to greatly reduce the development of periodontal disease.
Brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist and hygienist will keep plaque and tartar build-up to a minimum, and twice-yearly cleanings will remove the remaining traces that tend to occur in hard-to-reach places. Being diligent about either your home care or your cleanings is not enough; both are necessary to prevent periodontal disease and other problems, like decay. If you develop periodontal disease, you will need more frequent maintenance cleanings, usually three to four per year, after your your disease has been initially treated with periodontal therapy.
Additionally, every cleaning and examination includes a screening for gum disease. Often, the first signs and symptoms are subtle, and they may go unnoticed by you. Your dentist and hygienist however, should know exactly what to look for, and thanks to technology like intraoral cameras, we can show you exactly what we see!
If you are concerned about your gum health, don't hesitate to call us today and we will help guide you through everything without any judgements!