A good date to be more concerned about your oral-health, teeth and the onset or ongoing advancement of gum disease is today's date . So start caring more for your gums with a minimum of 2 or 3 daily brushings and flossing, and very importantly regular visits to a dental hygienist for a complete cleaning. It's best to schedule that every 3 months. In addition, we suggest you ask your dental hygienist for a very effective laser therapy treatment. That's assuming she has laser equipment and laser certification, which not all dentists have.
Greater than 3 out of 4 Americans over age-35 have some form of gum disease, early stage or more advanced cases. In its early stages, the gums might swell and easily bleed. At its worst stage you might start losing teeth. The bottom line? If you want to keep your teeth, you must also take very good care of your gums.
The mouth is a busy bacterial breeding ground, with millions of bacteria constantly on the move. While some bacteria are harmless, others can attack the teeth and gums.
Harmful bacteria are contained in a colorless sticky film called plaque, which is the basic cause of the start of gum disease. If not removed, plaque builds up on the teeth and ultimately irritates the gums and causes bleeding. Left unchecked, bone and connective tissue are destroyed, and teeth often become loose and may have to be removed, or even fall out of your mouth!
A survey of 1,000 people age-35 plus done by Harris Polls reveals a surprisingly high 60-percent of US adults surveyed knew little, if anything, about gum disease, its symptoms, available treatment and most importantly consequences of having gum-disease, and 40-percent do not visit a dentist regularly.
However, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. A US Surgeon General's report has labeled Americans' poor oral health as a silent epidemic and asked for nationwide work to improve oral health.
The good news is that in most people gum disease is preventable. Attention to everyday oral hygiene (brushing and flossing), coupled with professional cleaning twice a year, could be all that's needed to prevent gum disease and actually reverse the early stage and help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Exactly What is Gum Disease?
In the broadest sense, the term gum disease or periodontal disease describes bacterial growth and production of factors that gradually destroy the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth. "Periodontal" means "around the tooth."
Gum disease begins with plaque, which is always forming on your teeth, without you even knowing it. When it accumulates to excessive levels, it can harden into a substance called tartar in as little as 24-hours. Tartar is so tightly bound to teeth that it can be removed only by a professional cleaning.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two main stages of gum disease. Each stage is characterized by what a dentist sees and feels in your mouth, and by what's happening under your gum line. Although gingivitis usually precedes periodontitis, it's important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.
In the early stage of gingivitis, the gums can become red and swollen and bleed easily, often during tooth brushing. Bleeding, although not always a symptom of gingivitis, is a signal that your mouth is unhealthy and needs attention. The gums may be irritated, but the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage. Although dental disease in America remains a serious public health concern, recent developments indicate that the situation is far from hopeless.
A dental officer in the FDA's dermatologic and dental drug products division, says that because people seem to be paying more attention to oral hygiene as part of personal grooming, the payoff is "a decline in gingivitis over recent years." Hyman adds that "gingivitis can be reversed in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced," consisting, in part, of daily brushing and flossing. Click for Health Tip of the Day
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. At this later-stage, the inner layer of the gum and bone recede from the teeth and form pockets. The pockets between teeth and gums may collect debris and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body's enzymes fighting the infection actually start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed.
At this point, because there is no longer an anchor for the teeth, they become progressively looser, and the ultimate outcome is tooth loss.
In addition, several new oral-health products have been approved by the FDA to diagnose and treat gum disease, and even regenerate lost bone. These new gum-disease products can nicely supplement your professional dental care. Its dental marketing strategies to help dental practices recruit new patients, retain current patients, and reactivate inactive patients.
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