If you ever noticed that washing your hands caused them to bleed, it would be a cause for concern. The same is true for when you floss or brush. According to recent studies, a large percentage of adults over the age of 30 will face bleeding gums during regular oral care. Weston Dental Office wants you to know the signs and how to care for your teeth to prevent periodontal disease.
The Warning Signs
Gums that are swollen and bleeding are giving you signs that they are infected with some form of harmful bacteria. If left untreated, it can turn into an infection that can reduce or even destroy the support structures under your teeth and along your jawbone. In a worst-case scenario, you may even lose teeth as a result.
Periodontal diseases affect the gums, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament. In the early stages of this infection, it is called gingivitis, which only attacks the gums. Later stages affect all of the tissues in the mouth.
The Cause of Periodontal Disease
Research has come forth that indicates that the cause of periodontal disease is the bacteria in dental plaque. Gum disease also has a serious effect on the rest of your health, not only your oral health. Atherosclerosis and heart disease have been linked to gum disease, in addition to stroke and diabetes. Those who suffer from gum disease and diabetes have a much harder time controlling their sugar levels than those without gum disease.
The bacteria in dental plaque is not the exact cause of periodontal disease, but rather the way your body responds to the bacteria. The body causes inflammation in an effort to clear away the bacteria. This results in the bleeding and swollen gums that are the first signs of gingivitis. Once teeth begin to loosen, it is a sign of severe periodontitis, which has no cure.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
The best way to prevent the onset of periodontal disease is by practicing good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice a day, reducing or eliminating carbonated drinks, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings. Flossing is also very important because it will help prevent the buildup of plaque around the gums. Regular cleaning will keep that plaque from slipping under the gum line where bacteria can thrive.
Plaque that is allowed to sit on the teeth can calcify and then transform into tartar. Calcified plaque is harder than the enamel of the tooth and also attracts more plaque buildup. Using a tartar-control toothpaste can help prevent further buildup, but any that exist below the gum line will need to be removed by a dentist.
Other risk factors such as genetics, tobacco use, crowded teeth, and teeth clenching can also lead to periodontal disease. Stress and hormone fluctuations have also been linked to an increased chance of developing periodontal disease. Poor nutrition, certain medications, and even some health conditions can also contribute to increasing a person’s risk.
How Weston Dental Office Can Help
Proper oral hygiene and regular visits with a dentist is the best way to prevent oral health concerns, such as gum disease. If you are interested in learning more or scheduling a general dentistry appointment, give Weston Dental Office a call at (416) 247-1928 today.