What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease starts as plaque that sticks to your teeth at gum level. If this plaque is not removed with regular brushing, flossing and dental cleanings, it hardens into tartar (also called calculus). Tartar causes the start of a small infection of the gums called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Untreated it can lead to bone loss and early loss of teeth. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.
Up to 7 out 10 Canadians will develop gingivitis in their lifetime. Aside from slightly red, irritated and slightly puffy gums, gingivitis can progress painlessly and quietly. My team and I will evaluate your teeth, gums and level of tartar buildup to help coach you in the prevention and treatment of this condition.
How can I take care of my teeth between dental visits?
- Brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
- Brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse to help prevent cavities.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sugar as this increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid tobacco as this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.
My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel normal and pain free, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. It is recommended to address teeth decay before it becomes symptomatic and deep. Your smile is important, and your dentist can help keep your mouth healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. My team and I can offer you many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence.