Gum Disease (Periodontitis) Affects Half of Americans
It’s not something new. From time to time, you’ve heard people talk about gum disease, but what is it? Is it like gingivitis or something? According to the American Academy of Periodontology roughly 50 percent of Americans are affected by some form of gum disease and although the numbers seem overwhelming, a great deal of the public do not really understand how it affects them.
Gum Disease and Gingivitis: Sorting Out the Difference
So lets clear the air first. There is a difference between gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease). Simply put, gingivitis is inflammation of your gums. When looking at a patient’s mouth, a dentist will typically see red gums at the point where the teeth and gums meet, and also bleeding. This is a reaction that the gums have to plaque, which is an accumulation of bacteria (looks cheesy) on the teeth from inadequate brushing or poor brushing. The thing we have to remember here is that gingivitis, although it sounds like a horrible condition, is readily reversible and nondestructive to the supportive tooth structures of your mouth. So let’s cut to the chase: brush your teeth twice a day properly and you won’t ever have to worry about gingivitis. For good brushing instructions go here http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth
Periodontitis Can Be Irreversible
Periodontitis is a serious infection that involves the gums as well as the bone (the supportive structures to help keep the tooth in place). If this condition is left long enough untreated, the final result of gum disease is tooth loss. Plaque is one of the main causes of gum disease. If plaque is not regularly removed it can cause an inflammatory response by our bodies which leads to further and further gum loss and bone loss. Once the generalized bone loss has happened it is nearly impossible to reverse those effects. Typically gum disease will start out as the reversible condition gingivitis. If bacterial plaque still remains from poor brushing or inadequate home care, this can set the stage for periodontitis or gum disease.
Stay tuned more to come about Gum disease…