If you’ve noticed that your gums feel tender, are tinged with pink, or bleed when you brush and floss, you may have brewing gum disease, also called gingivitis. This is periodontal disease’s early stage, and there are things you can do to turn it around — before it becomes serious.
Dr. Ali Saeghi and the caring team at Modern Age Dentistry are passionate about helping patients take charge of their oral health, because oral health is vital to your overall health. This includes seeing you on a regular basis for routine checkups and cleanings.
Regular visits to the dentist allow Dr. Saeghi to address problems early, before they progress too much. This saves you pain, time, and money!
Gum disease is common, but should be avoided
You’re not alone if you have periodontal disease — over 47 percent of adults in the United States are living with it. Getting it treated as soon as possible prevents you from having to do more complicated and uncomfortable root planing and scaling treatments that are necessary when gum disease has progressed to the point of becoming severe, late-stage periodontitis.
How do you develop gingivitis? Simply by bypassing good daily oral hygiene. When you don’t brush at least twice a day and floss daily, bacteria in your mouth end up feeding on the food you eat and combining with your saliva to form plaque.
Sticky plaque wants to adhere to your teeth, but you can remove it by brushing and flossing, and any that you don’t reach is removed by your dentist when you get a professional cleaning.
If you skip the dentist or brushing and flossing too many times, you may notice:
- Inflamed gums
- Bleeding when you brush
- A dark pink or reddish tint to your gums
- Sensitivity, typically only when you touch your gums
When your gum disease is at this stage, it’s pretty much reversible — we repeat: reversible.
However, if you abandon good oral hygiene for even longer and don’t go to the dentist, simple gingivitis turns into periodontitis, which causes more serious, uncomfortable, and alarming symptoms.
You experience worsening gum pain and inflammation, and the inside layer of your gums and bones actually pull away from your teeth and create pockets. These fill with debris and get infected.
Though your immune system tries its best to fight the infection, it’s futile, because the plaque spreads below your gum line. Poisons from the plaque, as well as the enzymes your body produces to try to fight the infection, combine and cause the bone and connective tissue that secure your teeth in place to deteriorate.
The result is that the affected teeth loosen and fall out. In fact, gum disease is the No. 1 cause of adult tooth loss.
Your oral health impacts your total well-being
We know that poor oral health doesn’t just lead to cavities and other tooth problems. It’s linked to serious conditions, including:
- Oral cancers
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications, such as premature birth and low birth weight
This evidence should be enough to persuade anyone who’s been lax about their oral hygiene and scheduling dental visits to reconsider and change their ways.
So go out and get a new toothbrush, use it at least twice a day, floss every day, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Saeghi to ensure that your gums remain in tiptop shape.
We have offices in Los Angeles, Ojai, and West Hills, California. Call the one closest to you today, or book an appointment with us online.