Dental Checkups and Gum Health

September Blog Photo

Prevention is the Cure!

Regular oral health care and management includes taking care of your gum health. Daily routine brushing and flossing doesn't always get the bacteria that can become trapped above the gum line. When your gums feel tender or puffy, the reason may very well be related to your gums, and not necessarily to your teeth. Part of a regular dental check up includes x-rays and when necessary additional equipment can be used to examine gum length, pockets in the tissues and periodontal health. Periodontal disease can manifest when preventative care, routine care at home is not done well and a lack of dental treatment has been provided to care for receding gum tissue.

How does Periodontal Disease Develop?

Predominantly, plaque is the cause of gum disease. However, other aspects can contribute to periodontal disease. These include hormonal changes, illnesses such as cancer, HIV or diabetes, medications, bad habits such as smoking, poor oral hygiene habits, or family history of dental disease.

Gingivitis or Periodontitis?

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) may lead to periodontitis (gum disease). With that being said, not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during brushing. Although the gums may be puffed up, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets at this stage.

In a patient with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect residues and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. This progress to periodontitis happens when gingivitis is neglected. Toxins - produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body's natural reaction in resisting infections - start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease becomes more severe, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer hooked in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs.

Remember regular dental checkup's help prevent dental problems!

Contact Dr. Samuel Toong, a Burlington dentist, practicing at Asleep For Dentistry in the Halton Region of Ontario. Conveniently located twenty minutes south of Milton, and west of Oakville Ontario.