Don’t Wait to Protect Yourself from Gum Disease
Have you heard the phrase, “I’ll worry about it when I’m old?” For some things in life, “worrying about it when you’re old,” like a tattoo, is not a matter of life and death. While gum disease won’t kill you in an instant, it is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and it increases your risk of multiple life-threatening diseases. Gingivitis, the preliminary stage of gum disease, presents with red, swollen gums and bleeding of the gums when you brush. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, or gum disease, and leave you toothless and sick. Gingivitis can be treated and reversed, but once it advances to periodontitis, permanent damage sets in. Both conditions can be prevented with routine dental care and regular trips to your dentist in Haverford.
Inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, begins when food particles combine with bacteria in the mouth, forming plaque that sticks to the teeth. Gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, which destroys the gums, as well as the bone that supports the mouth. Plaque that isn’t brushed away eventually turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
Plaque and tartar can damage the gums and erode the teeth, causing gingivitis, an inflammation that can quickly develop into an infection. Periodontitis occurs when the bone that supports the mouth becomes infected and the gums recede. Pockets can form in the gums and collect bacteria, ultimately destroying the gum tissue and bone of the jaw, and causing the teeth to loosen and fall out.
Although gum disease is generally caused by poor dental care, other factors contributing to the risk of developing gingivitis include:
- Tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco prevents gums from healing.
- Diets high in sugar and starch-filled carbs cause an increase in the formation of plaque. Low nutrient intake can impair immune function.
- Fluctuating hormone levels are often associated with gingivitis. When hormone levels rise during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, the blood vessels in the gums become susceptible to bacteria and chemicals.
- Chronic or excessive stress can suppress the body’s immune system, which can increase inflammation in the mouth and contribute to disease elsewhere in the body.
- Crooked or overlapping teeth provide areas for bacteria, plaque, and tartar to accumulate, which makes it important to see your family dentistry specialists frequently.
- Not drinking enough water. Drink plenty of water to wash bacteria from the mouth.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Haverford, call Gentle Dental of Haverford today at (610) 572-1248 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Haverford. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Haverford, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Haverford.