Periodontal (gum) disease affects 75% of Americans and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Unfortunately, once gum disease develops, you cannot cure it. You can, however, treat gum disease and prevent it from completely destroying your oral health and structures. In order to raise awareness of the perils of gum disease, your Moreno Valley dentists offer this important information on preventing the progressive condition.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Many people do not realize that tooth decay and gum disease are not the same thing. Tooth decay results when the bacteria in your mouth digest sugars and starches and produce acids that attack your tooth enamel. The acids weaken enamel until bacteria are able to slip past it and infect the interior of your tooth. Gum disease, by contrast, occurs when bacterial plaque causes an inflammatory reaction in your gums. The suspected main cause of gum disease is the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, or P. gingivalis. This microbe is known to incite the body’s inflammatory response to infection. P. gingivalis is also the suspected link between gum disease and chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease and diabetes. When your gums are infected, bacteria can enter your blood stream through the soft, infected gum tissue. When P. gingivalis enters the blood stream, it can incite the same inflammatory response in other body tissues.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
Although you’ve probably heard it a million times before, the best prevention for gum disease is a healthy and disciplined oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once will remove bacterial plaque and food debris before they have a chance to cause damage to your oral health. One of the major dangers of gum disease is that by the time you notice the systems, the infection may have progressed far enough to require extensive treatment and procedures to rectify the damage. Be sure to attend your routine dental checkup and cleaning at least every six months to allow your Moreno Valley dentist to inspect your mouth for signs of disease.
To schedule an appointment at our Moreno Valley dentist office, contact us at (951) 697-6800.