dental care blog
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Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults, outstripping even cavities and decay. Most people will suffer from it to some degree during their lives, but it's a condition that can be treated very effectively, and with proper oral care serious problems can largely be avoided.
What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease. With gingivitis, the gums become swollen and sore, often turning red and inflamed, and will tend to bleed during brushing or when eating harder foods. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease, where the inflammation spreads to the teeth roots and even the jawbone, making your teeth feel loose to the touch and even eventually fall out completely.
What Causes It?
Gum disease is ultimately caused by insufficient attention to oral hygiene, that is, not brushing and flossing thoroughly enough. Just as with dental decay, gum problems are the result of a build up of plaque in the mouth. Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria that grows on your teeth after eating, and while most of the bacteria plaque contains are harmless, some types cause irritation to the gums and lead to disease. Good brushing and flossing habits will largely remove this bacteria and stop gum disease from taking hold, or from progressing too far if you already have it.
Smokers should note that they are more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers, as tobacco causes a lack of oxygen in the blood to the gums, making them less able to fight off the bacteria and resulting inflammation.
Spotting and Treating Gum Disease
While sore, inflamed and bleeding gums are a sure sign of problems which need treatment, underlying periodontal disease is unfortunately largely painless and free of symptoms until it has become firmly established and is already causing damage. In severe cases, you may get tooth abscesses and/or signs of infection such as pus oozing around the base of the tooth. If you spot this, you need to see a dentist quickly.
More commonly, bleeding teeth and unpleasant smelling breath are the first signs of gum disease. These symptoms will also need to be checked out by your dental team to make sure that the problem hasn't already gone beyond simple gingivitis and developed into periodontal disease, but if caught in time then treatment can be very effective. Your dentist will give your teeth a complete clean to remove all traces of the plaque and bacteria which is causing the problem, and will advise on improving your dental care at home to stop further flare-ups and help your gums overcome the inflammation.
If periodontal disease is detected, a more thorough treatment may be necessary with a procedure known as 'root planing'. This clears any bacteria that has invaded your teeth roots, and will usually require a local anesthetic and cause a little discomfort for a day or two after treatment.
In The Long Term
A proper regime of brushing and flossing to remove all traces of plaque will stop gum disease in its tracks, and over time any damage can even start to be reversed as your gums begin to recover. However, especially in severe cases of periodontal disease, it's a good idea to have your dentist regularly check that your gums are in good health and that there's no sign of the disease returning.
When acids keep eroding enamel of your tooth for long to leak calcium and other minerals from your enamel and dentin, a process called demineralization takes place. This also leads to tooth decay unless you get the problem treated by good Edmonton dentist. Acids play an important role in tooth decay and the acid found in your mouth is produced from the wastes of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria that develop in dental plaque.
What is the source of demineralizing acids?
Dietary sugars contain tooth decaying acids in bulk amount, including lactose, glucose, fructose, cooked starches and table sugar. This might sound surprising, but as soon as you take a bite of a sugary cookie or a French fry, bacteria start digesting sugars, breaking them down and finally excreting them as demineralizing acids. As the colony of these bacteria increases, you star to complain about plaque buildup. Plaque is the yellowish, tough coating you generally see on the surface of teeth near the gum line.
Plaque is the issue
Dental plaque forms a great nesting place for bacteria that also keeps acids in touch of tooth enamel. As plaque can’t be removed by brushing, it is essential that a person suffering from tooth decay visits Edmonton dentist immediately so with the help of special tools dentist can remove the plaque buildup or cavity and properly clean teeth.
Signs of tooth decay
There are no visible signs of cavities and tooth decay during the early stages. You only know about the cavity as demineralization begins to create a hole in your teeth and you start experiencing the pain. Tooth decay can also cause tooth ache, tooth sensitivity and severe pain using the affected teeth to bite your food. In some cases, tooth decay creates an infection, and pus starts seeping around the gum line of the decayed tooth. If treatment is delayer for long time, the affected tooth may crumble, loosen and finally fall out, which creates a partially or completely empty socket.
How to prevent tooth decay
Getting regular checkups from your Edmonton dentist and brushing and flossing, two times in a day and eating healthy foods instead of fries or candies are the best ways to prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth healthy and great.
For emergency dental services, give us a call.
Call Now: 587 410 5766
Dr. Alexander Yeh and Dr. Iyad Al-Qishawi are registered general dentists. They graduated in the same class at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Dentistry.
Edmonton Emergency Dental Services:
Pain and infection relief
Phone: 587 410 5766
Address: Suite #110 4445 Calgary Trail Southbound NW, Edmonton, AB T6H5R7