As reported by the Canadian Dental Association, around 7 out of 10 people in Canada have some level of gum disease, and many don't even realize it. Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums and the surrounding tissue. Caused by the build up of bacterial plaque, it is the biggest cause of adult tooth loss.
How Gum Disease Develops
Plaque is a thin, colorless film which develops on your teeth. It is caused by bacteria in your mouth. If left untreated, bacterial plaque will harden to tartar. Tartar is a rough, porous mineral buildup which is usually yellow or brown in color forms near the gum line. Tartar excretes the toxins that cause gum inflammation, resulting in the development of periodontal pockets that hold even more toxins and bacteria. This condition can lead to the loosening of the teeth, or even make your teeth fall out. As the condition worsens, the accumulated toxins and bacteria move deeper into the jaw, destroying the bone that holds your teeth in place.
What to Look For:
Signs of gum disease can include:
- Red, inflamed gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Loose or separating teeth
- Presence of pus between the gum and tooth
- Receding gums
- Chronic halitosis
Gum Disease Causes Other Health Issues
Along with causing problems in your mouth, gum disease can cause other health concerns. Research has linked gum disease to health problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and complications with pregnancies and diabetes. Because the symptoms are initially mild, many people don't realize they have gum disease, which can allow the condition to worsen. You may have an increased risk for gum disease if you smoke, have diabetes, take certain medications, are under stress, or have a poor diet.
Treating Gum Disease
Periodontics is the area of dentistry that focuses on gum disease treatment. Dr. Cruz can reverse gum disease if it is caught in the early stages. Our Toronto hygienist will scale the teeth to remove plaque and calculus, and plane the roots to smooth them. Dr. Yolonda Cruz may also prescribe antibiotics to clear up any infection or inflammation. For advanced cases, Dr. Cruz may be required to trim the gums, disinfect the tissue, remove the hardened plaque build-up, and re-contour any damaged bone.
My gums bleed when I brush. Should I be worried?
Bleeding gums are not normal - it indicates a more serious problem like gum disease. If your gums are bothering you, you should make an appointment with Dr. Yolonda Cruz to check it out.
Is gum disease hereditary?
Although there is a genetic component to gum disease, other factors, like lifestyle choices, age, and oral health habits, can also influence whether you develop this condition. Talk with Dr. Cruz to find out if you have other risk factors for gum disease.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
The best prevention is taking proper care of your teeth and gums. Good brushing habits, regular flossing, and routine dental visits will go a long way to avoiding periodontal disease. Regular appointments with our Toronto dental hygienist will help.
Stopping the progression of gum disease before it escalates can save you time, discomfort, and expense. If you have bleeding gums, schedule a visit at Dr. Yolonda Cruz Denistry today at our Downtown office 416-595-5490 or Etobicoke office 647-951-8888.