Healthy gums are an indication of good overall health. Unhealthy gums can be the source of serious general health issues. Stroke, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, low birth weight and premature birth have all been linked to gum disease. Fortunately, gum disease, particularly in the early stages, is reversible with general dentistry. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are preventative measures to take so that your gums stay in healthy shape. However, when gum disease does begin in your mouth, early diagnosis and treatment is critical.
Treatment procedures for gum disease depend on the extent of the problem. Caught early enough it could be just a matter of cleaning your teeth thoroughly and prescribing special toothpastes or mouthwash to keep bacteria from building up. Follow up appointments to monitor progress on healing are called for as well. More involved situations may call for more extensive cleaning, medication and/or surgery to deal with the problem and get the gums in shape so that they can heal. An exam by the hygienist will reveal what the best course of action will be in your particular situation.
Symptoms and Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease begins simple enough with the buildup of a sticky film called plaque. This build up will harden into tartar if not properly cleaned away. When tartar begins to form and collect on the teeth, it pushes the gums away from the tooth structure causing pockets to form where food debris can collect. While this happens the gums get red and puffy. They may even begin to bleed at times during brushing or eating. Left unchecked this process continues to worsen; infection can set in and bone loss around the teeth can occur. In addition to the teeth becoming unstable and weak, general health becomes compromised as bacteria from the gum disease enter the blood stream.
Prevention is always the best way to keep problems from developing. When that is not possible, getting an early diagnosis and beginning treatment right away is important to keep gum disease from impacting your general health. Contact Bencaz Family Dentistry today for a consultation if you suspect that you may have signs or symptoms of gum disease.