Gum disease is no joke. It’s a constant infection of bacteria in our gums. It’s a silent disease because quite often, folks don’t experience pain from it. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 47.2% of adults over age 30 and 70.1% of adults over 65 have some form of gum disease!
We see it every day and the best part is this disease is totally preventable and even reversible.
How does it start?
Our mouths contain millions of necessary bacteria that help us regulate germs before they get to the rest of our bodies. However, without consistent and effective home care and without regular visits to the dentist/hygienist, the bacteria look for “food” and grow in number. The food they start to feast on is the residue of previous meals (plaque). It only takes 24-48 hours for plaque to calcify or harden. That food hardens to the point where no toothbrush or floss can remove it. This is called tartar. You may have heard that word in a Listerine commercial!
Bacteria feed on tartar. As bacteria feed on tartar and grow, the gums inflame and pull away from the teeth creating pockets. This creates an inflammatory response in the body and blood is sent to those areas with white blood cells to fight the bacteria.
As new food is eaten and hardens, the food slips into the pockets and so does bacteria. The gums continue pulling away creating deeper and deeper pockets. When the gums pull away, so does the bone that holds our teeth in place and eventually, teeth start to get loose and then fall out.
One thing we know for sure – HEALTHY GUMS DON’T BLEED. This is not only an easy quote to remember, but it can be used as an alert for yourself.
The effects of gum disease:
- Bad breath (it’s the toxic fumes from the bacteria and can sometimes smell like rot)
- Blood in the sink after brushing
- Heavily receded gums
- Teeth that are sensitive near the receded gum lines
- Loose Teeth
- Teeth that fall out
- Transmitting the disease to anyone you kiss deeply/exchange saliva with
How do we treat gum disease?
The only things that can effectively break up/kill tartar and bacteria are our instruments and equipment. We’ve got three different kinds of treatment that we tailor to each person’s level of gum disease:
- Our hygienists’ traditional manual treatment – the old school scraping tools (can be done with or without local anesthetic)
- Our hygienists’ automatic instrument that vibrates and sprays water, breaking up tartar (usually with local anesthetic)
- Our newest machine – a laser that pinpoints tartar and bacteria destroying them and even helping to generate new and healthier gum tissue. This is performed by both the doctor and hygienist. (always done with local anesthetic)
To find out what treatment is best for you, call us today at 310-340-6663 or fill out the contact form above to set up an appointment. Don’t wait!
It’s never too late to improve gum health. Please call310-340-6663
to schedule an appointment at Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions.