Gum disease occurs when bacterial plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. When plaque is not removed, it spreads below the gum line, where it irritates the gums. Over time, the plaque irritates the gums and causes them to pull away from the teeth. This creates space, or pocket, between the teeth and gums. Bacteria can then collect in the space, resulting in further irritation.
Over time, the inflammation can cause the bone and tissue around the teeth to break down. When bone is lost, it can affect the teeth’s stability. If not treated, gum disease can cause the teeth to become loose and fall out.
Who is most at risk for gum disease?
Anyone can develop gum disease, but some people are at greater risk. Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup between the teeth. Plaque is full of harmful bacteria which irritate the gums and causes them to become inflamed. The gums will eventually begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected.
How is gum disease diagnosed?
During your dental checkup, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth for signs of gum disease. This will include looking for red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Your dentist will also measure the depth of your gum pockets. Gum pockets form when the gum separates from the teeth and grows over. A pocket depth under 3mm is usually considered healthy.
How is gum disease treated?
Gum disease is treatable, but it’s important to act fast before it gets worse. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. If you don’t remove plaque, it can harden and turn into tartar. This buildup can lead to gum inflammation and bleeding.
If detected early, your dentist can treat your gum disease with a professional cleaning. This procedure removes plaque and tartar from your teeth. If gum disease is more advanced, your dentist may recommend periodontal treatment. This includes deep cleanings known as scaling and root planing. These procedures clean out deep gum pockets, which can help prevent further gum disease.
How can you prevent gum disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacterial plaque builds up along the gum line. This buildup leads to inflammation of the gums, which can be extremely painful.
Luckily, gum disease is preventable by:
- Brushing and flossing twice per day.
- Cleaning in between teeth with dental floss or an interdental cleaner.
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year for checkups and professional dental cleanings.
What happens if gum disease isn’t treated?
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. If your gums are not healthy, bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This can increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. In addition, gum disease can cause bone loss in the jaw where teeth are supported. If you don’t treat gum disease, you may eventually lose your teeth.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Gerard and Moore Dental, call (505)-293-6125 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 8310 Palomas Ave NE Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87109.