For many of us, we may not think much about our teeth because they have been a part of us for almost forever. If one falls out, especially if it is one in the back that is less noticeable, it may not be a priority to restore it. Teeth that are not cared for may make it harder to get the nutrition you need since it may become difficult to chew or bite food. Here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want to help you have a healthy body and know that begins with strong teeth and gums.
WHAT CAUSES GUM DISEASE?
Whenever you eat food, some of the particles may get left behind on your teeth. The bacteria that naturally reside in your mouth adore the taste of sugar and will happily consume any residue they find. After they eat, the bacteria leave behind a substance known as plaque. It can make your teeth feel grimy, and your breath smell bad. If left to build up, it can become tartar, which is a chalky white substance that gathers around your gums.
Your gums do not like plaque and recognize it as toxic, so it will react accordingly and may cause irritation and swelling. With the swelling, your gums may separate themselves from your tooth. This will allow for pocketing, which lets not only more food become trapped, but also increases how much bacteria can accumulate. Bleeding of the gums when you brush your teeth is an indication of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease is when the gum line is so inflamed that it progresses to the surrounding bone, which is holding your teeth in place. When gingivitis is ignored, it can lead to periodontitis. This may ultimately cause your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. Unfortunately, gum disease can be, for the most part, rather painless, so you should be aware of the signs. If you notice that your gums have started to pull back from your teeth or that your teeth do not line up the way they used to, it is possible you could have gum disease. You may also want to be aware of especially sensitive teeth that respond strongly to cold or hot temperatures.
The best way to stay on top of gum disease to prevent it from happening in the first place. The easiest way to remove plaque from your teeth when they feel fuzzy is to grab your toothbrush and start brushing. If there is not any food left behind for the bacteria to eat, they cannot produce plaque. If a toothbrush is not available, using a soft cloth to rub the fuzz off is an effective way of temporarily preventing the destruction of your enamel.
Remembering to floss is important as well, but even though it can seem like a chore to wind a string around your fingers, there are handy little plastic toothpicks with a bit of floss on one end that can take most of the work out of flossing. The best part is, it can be done at any time, which is why many patients find that keeping a bag of flossers in the car during the morning commute a convenient way to maintain their oral care.
Gum disease is easily preventable and with regular dental checkups every six months, we can anticipate any issues to give you a lifetime of optimal oral health with few surprises. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry, just give us a call at (360) 456-1200.