Interesting Gum Disease Facts
Do you notice a little red or pink mixed in with your saliva and toothpaste when you brush your teeth? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush; perhaps you were a bit too vigilant and brushed too harshly. No big deal, right? Rough scrubbing may be a factor, but the truth is that bleeding gums are one of the most significant telltale signs of gingivitis—the beginning stage of gum disease. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums don’t typically generate discomfort, and many patients might consider their condition odd, but not serious. Oxford dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield, explains why ignoring the signs of gum disease is always a bad idea with a few interesting facts about the destructive dental infection.
The Dangers of Gum Disease
- Preventing gum disease means attacking it at its source, which can be found among the oral bacteria that form dental plaque and cling to your teeth and gums. Some of these germs release toxins that destroy the connective tissue between your gums and teeth, creating pockets for more bacteria to accumulate.
- The bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis, is specifically linked to the inflammation associated with gum disease. The germ produces a molecule to evade your immune system’s inflammatory response to harmful microbes, leading to excessive gum inflammation as the body tries to eliminate the microbes.
- When allowed to run rampant, gum disease can progress past compromised gum tissue and infect the patient’s jawbone, affecting the mouth’s ability to support natural teeth and their roots. By the time many patients seek gum disease treatment, their gum tissue and jawbone have sustained enough damage to lose one or more teeth.
- If detected and treated at the first stage, gingivitis, then gum disease can often be reversed with periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene. If allowed to fully develop, however, then gum disease becomes incurable (but, thankfully, highly manageable).
- Aside from being the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States, gum disease has also been linked to increased risks for heart disease, respiratory troubles, certain forms of dementia, and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
About Dr. Greenfield:
Dr. Brad Greenfield and our caring, compassionate staff are dedicated to bringing advanced dental care and maintenance to all of our patients. Whether you require a routine dental cleaning to lessen the chances of gum disease, or advanced treatment to control the disease and restore damaged oral tissue, we can help protect your smile’s health and integrity as well as improve your oral hygiene practices. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at 248-693-6213.