Prior to contrary belief, gum disease is not a natural part of the aging process. Many moons ago, gum disease and tooth loss were thought to be natural as people entered their senior years. Now we know different. Teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, whether our grandparents thought so or not. Dentistry has come a long way since then and oral health has shown to strongly correlate with general health. Here are a few facts about gum disease that you may not know.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease does occur over time, but it is not a natural part of aging. It occurs as a result of poor dental care. Plaque builds up on teeth and along the gum line constantly. When it is not removed through proper dental care and professional cleanings, it begins to irritate gums. Gums may become red and swollen or there may be some bleeding when they are brushed. This is the earliest stage of gum disease and it is still reversible.
Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease will not go away on its own at any stage. People often think they can spot the signs of or reverse gum disease without visiting a dental professional. This is not true. It takes a trained eye to spot the symptoms of this disease because it develops slowly over time. Once the disease is diagnosed, it is necessary to visit the periodontist who will put together a treatment plan.
A Serious Disease
Many people don’t believe gum disease is that serious, but they are wrong. This is a progressive disease that can cause tooth and bone loss. Once a tooth is lost due to gum disease, neighboring teeth become more vulnerable. When there is no tooth root present to stimulate and nourish the jaw bone, bone mass begins to diminish in a process known as resorption.
A periodontist can treat gum disease because they specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of it. If you suspect you have gum disease, or you have been diagnosed, call our office immediately. Early treatment may be able to reverse the signs of gum disease.