Dentures, implants, and dental bridges in Lakewood are all things the team at Advanced Family Dental want to help our patients to avoid. Fortunately, everybody wants to have a healthy, attractive looking smile. While our teeth often receive most of the attention when it comes to what makes a healthy smile, but quality oral health actually starts with our gums, the foundation of any smile.
When gum health starts to deteriorate it begins to negatively impact the rest of our oral health. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums can quickly lead to tooth decay and bone loss if not caught and properly treated. Even more troubling, studies have linked poor gum health to an increased risk for a variety of chronic health problems that involve every part of the body from the heart, lungs, and brain.
What Causes Gum Problems?
The majority of gum problems are caused by plaque, a sticky biofilm comprised of harmful oral bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating. If plaque isn’t removed from the surface of our teeth daily, usually through brushing and flossing, it begins to harden into tartar, a yellowish buildup of bacteria that stains our enamel. The bacteria in plaque and tartar produce acids that irritate gum tissue, causes enamel to erode, and results in inflammation developing that eventually leads to early stage gum disease known as gingivitis.
Fortunately, the impact gingivitis has on our oral health can be reversed. Through improved daily hygiene, and scheduling regular exams and cleanings with our team at Advanced Family Dental, gum health can be restored.
Of course, the opposite is also true. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress into the far more serious periodontitis.
As gum disease progresses, pockets form along the gum line where gum tissue begins to pull away from the base of our teeth. These pockets allow plaque to build up below the gum line, a place where brushing cannot reach. Eventually, plaque will attack the roots of our teeth and the jawbone, resulting in permanent tooth loss.
Luckily, you can prevent any serious damage from occurring to your gums by practicing quality oral hygiene at home, and by staying alert for the early signs of gum disease.
Signs of Trouble
Have you noticed a little blood in your toothpaste after brushing? Does flossing leave your gums feeling tender and bleeding? While it’s possible that you could be brushing a little too hard, it’s more likely that you’re seeing the early signs of gingivitis.
For the next week, try brushing more gently than usual. If you still see blood in your toothpaste or along the gum line, you need to schedule an appointment with our team at Advanced Family Dental.
Once plaque hardens into tartar, only a professional cleaning can remove the bacteria from tooth enamel. Remember, the longer plaque stays on the surface of your teeth, the more damage it can cause to tooth and gum health. By delaying to see a dentist, you increase the risk of one day needing dental bridges in Lakewood.
While monitoring your oral health, keep an eye out for gum recession, as well. Look for tissue that’s begun to pull away from the base of your teeth, exposing the roots that sit below. Gum recession is typically brought on by advanced gum disease, but can also be caused by brushing too hard, grinding teeth at night, and even genetics.
Unlike early stage gum disease, gum recession isn’t reversible. Severe cases of gum recession may need to be treated with a gum graft or other surgical procedure. Teeth that appear longer than usual and small grooves along the gum line are two of the most common signs of gum recession.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Health Smile
To enjoy a healthy, great looking smile that dazzles, you need to have a healthy foundation. Gum health can’t be ignored if you want your teeth to look and feel their best. By taking the time to properly brush and floss daily, and to schedule regular exams and cleanings with our team at Advanced Family Dental, you can increase the likelihood of enjoying a great looking smile for a lifetime. Fail to care of your gums now and one day you might need to make an appointment for fitting dental bridges in Lakewood after all.