Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reverse Gingivitis Before It's Too Late

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is an inflammation and infection of the gingiva (gums) says a dentist in Marietta, GA.  Many times early gum disease can be reversed by a simple procedure called scaling and root planing performed by your dental office.  Others may need a more extensive gum tissue surgery to halt the disease.  Periodontal disease is usually the result of inadequate hygiene, so it can happen to people of all ages.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film that forms naturally in the mouth.  The plaque contains bacteria that produce toxins that inflame and damage the tissue and supporting bone structure of teeth. Gum tissue that is bright red, purplish-red or bleeds is usually a sign of gingivitis or more advanced disease.  If left untreated, it will advance and teeth will be lost.

Periodontal disease usually can be prevented with good oral hygiene.  Brushing, flossing and professional cleaning appointments are the best defense.  Many people do not realize they have gum disease, since discomfort is not present in the beginning.  At a regular professional cleaning, your dentist can recognize the signs and help patients reverse it, if it has not progressed too far.  If left alone, the health of the gum tissue will deteriorate and supporting bone structure will begin dissolve.  Tissue will recede and begin to pull away from the bacteria ridden teeth.  Pockets will form, continue to deepen, and teeth will eventually need extracted.

Let's examine some interesting facts concerning gum disease;
       
  • Gum disease can make getting pregnant and carrying a full-term pregnancy more difficult.
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  • Hormonal changes, such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause make it easier to develop gingivitis.
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  • Certain illnesses such as HIV can put people at a higher risk for gum disease.
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  • Smoking promotes gum disease by making it more difficult for tissue to repair itself.
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  • Family's with a history of periodontal disease need to be aware it can contribute to developing gum disease.

What symptoms indicate possible gum disease?
       
  • Red, purplish-red gums
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  • Bad breath
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  • Swollen gums
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  • Bleeding gums
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  • Shifting Teeth
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  • Receding gums
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  • Pocketing around teeth
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  • Change of your bite
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  • Plaque or tartar buildup around teeth

At your professional cleaning, the bacteria, plaque and tartar will be removed from your teeth allowing the dentist to access the health of your mouth.  He can check for pocketing and measure around each tooth.  A deeper pocket is an indication of more serious gum disease.

The best method to maintain a healthy mouth is to do the following.
       
  • Purchase a Sonicare Toothbrush and brush at least twice a day for two minutes.
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  • Floss daily, and learn to do it properly
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  • Eat a well-balanced diet
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  • Avoid grinding of your teeth
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  • Avoid smoking
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  • See a dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned

Studies confirm the close relationship between oral health and some disease.  The close relationship is the best reason oral hygiene should be high on the daily priority list. Keep your mouth healthy , and your efforts will mean a healthier you, says Marietta Dentist.