Studies have shown links between periodontal (gum) disease, heart disease and other health conditions.
Research further suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk for heart disease, more so than hypertension, smoking cholesterol, gender or age.
Researchers conclusions suggest that bacteria present in infected gums can become loose and move throughout the body through the bloodstream. Once bacteria reaches the arteries, they can irritate them in the same way that they irritate gum tissue causing arterial plaque, which can cause hardening and affects blood-flow.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually lead to the destruction of the support of your natural teeth. These diseases affect more than 80% of Americans by the age of 45.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce enzymes and toxins which injure the gums. Injured gums turn red, swell and bleed easily.
If this injury is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.
Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar).
This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.
If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Pain is usually not present until damage from this disease is very advanced.
One of the earliest stages of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis causes the gums to become swollen and bleed due to the toxins, enzymes and plaque byproducts that are created. In order for your gums to return to a healthy state, treatment from Dr. Hoover is required in addition to proper oral hygiene.
When the bone tissue starts to deteriorate, this is known as a form of gum disease called Periodontitis. This happens when the byproducts of plaque attack the tissues that hold your teeth to the bone. The gums begin falling away from the teeth and form pockets in the gums which allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. When this occurs, the patient becomes more sensitive to hot and cold and the roots of the teeth are more vulnerable to decay.
With severe periodontitis, a radical amount of gum tissue and bone tissue is lost. Usually, teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone. Teeth become loose and may even need to be extracted. This causes difficulties in normal everyday chewing and biting habits. If advanced periodontal disease is left untreated, patients run the risk of other serious health problems.
Suppress the urge to avoid cleaning teeth that are sensitive to cold! Teeth that have suffered damage from gum disease will always be more sensitive to cold. Avoiding them only makes it worse.
After any dental treatment, teeth may become sensitive. This is their way of letting you know that they've been injured. Any injury (cavity, tooth clenching/grinding, gum infection) can injure the nerves in a tooth. This should not last long if the teeth are kept clean. If the teeth are not kept clean, the sensitivity will remain or get worse.
If your teeth are especially sensitive, consult with your dentist. This could be a sign of the need for root canal treatment, a gum tissue graft, a desensitizing toothpaste (with potassium nitrate), or a concentrated fluoride gel (0.4% stannous- or 1.1% sodium-fluoride) may do the trick.
Healthy gums are generally pink and anchor the teeth firmly in place. Healthy gums do not bleed or hurt during normal brushing and flossing.
Early forms of gum disease can easily be treated and reversed with daily brushing and flossing and dental checkups every 6 months. Thomas Hoover, DDS PA can get you on your way to healthy gums. All you need to do is call (952) 920-9209 or request an appointment online and come in for a visit. Your gums will be glad you did!
Thomas Hoover, DDS PA would love to meet you and your family to provide you with the periodontal dental care you need and give you all the smiles you deserve at our St. Louis Park periodontics office!