We have restorative procedures that can repair damaged teeth. We have teeth replacements that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
And we have a range of cosmetic procedure.
These are in addition to the preventive care options that you would expect from any dentist.
We put a lot of time and effort into talking about teeth, but we hope you realize that your gums are just as important to preserving your smile.
Today’s post from the office of Ira J. Moin, D.D.S., is all about gums.
Are You Caring For Your Gums?
Your gums aren’t just taking up space in your mouth. This tissue plays a vital role in your overall oral health.
It’s in your interest to keep your gums as healthy as they can be, and you can do that by doing just three things:
- Getting a professional dental cleaning twice each year
It sounds simple, but there’s ample evidence that many people are not doing them.
A recent survey illustrates this point.
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone brushes their teeth for two minutes twice per day. According to the survey results, 70 percent of Americans do that. That also means that 3 in 10 people are not brushing twice daily. The survey also reported that nearly one-fourth of Americans (23 percent) admitted to going two or more days without brushing their teeth.
The ADA also recommends flossing between your teeth and under gumline once per day. According to the survey, only 40 percent of Americans say that they do this, while 20 percent of the respondents said they never floss.
That means in any group of 10 people, 4 floss daily, 4 floss sometimes, and 2 don’t bother flossing.
This could explain the results of a different survey conducted by the Centers For Disease Control that found that nearly half of American adults over 30 have some form of periodontitis, which is considered an advanced form of gum disease.
When you add in people who have gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease, then there is strong evidence to suggest that most Americans have some form of periodontal disease.
Healthy Gums Help You Maintain Your Smile
Your gums help your teeth in two important ways. First, gum tissue holds your teeth in place.
Yes, the roots of your teeth are embedded in your jawbone, but without your gums, your roots would be exposed. That also gets your gums other important function — protecting your roots.
The crowns of your teeth (the parts that stick out from your gums) are covered by enamel, which is the hardest substance on the human body. Your roots are covered by cementum, which is not as hard and can be penetrated more easily by bacteria.
This bacteria is what you are removing every time you brush and floss. You will never eliminate this bacteria completely, which is why you need to do these things every day.
If you do develop gum disease, you will notice some changes.
At first, your gums may appear puffy or redder than usual. They may even bleed when you are brushing or flossing.
If left untreated, the bleeding may occur easier. Your gums may start to separate from your teeth. Pus may start leaking from your gums, and your teeth may feel loose in their sockets.
Without proper treatment, your teeth will start falling out.
Treating Gum Disease
We would encourage anyone to visit our dentist office in Encino, CA, as soon as he or she notices the symptoms of periodontal disease.
The treatment is less invasive, more effective, and less expensive when we are able to address it early.
In the latter stages of gum disease, you can have pockets form inside your gum tissue. Bacteria can build plaque that can harden and become tartar in these pockets, which often are near your roots. To remove the harmful substances, we will start with scaling and root planing, a kind deep cleaning that reaches below the gumline.
This can be combined with antibiotics to reduce your risk of a recurring infection.
In more serious cases, gum surgery may be needed to remove the infected tissue, and a gum graft may be necessary to restore gum tissue that has receded.
Caring For Your Smile
Be proactive about preventing gum disease is your best option. The next best thing you can do is to make an appointment with Ira J. Moin, D.D.S., as soon as you see symptoms of periodontal problems.