This is one of the most important areas of dentistry but is often neglected. Dental cleanings are necessary to keep the gums and bone, the foundation of the teeth, healthy. The film that can be scraped off your teeth is called plaque. Plaque contains millions of bacteria that can affect the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. If plaque stays on your teeth for too long, it forms a hard layer called calculus or tartar. This layer is so hard it cannot be brushed off. The longer the plaque and calculus stay on the teeth, the more harm done to the gums and bone.
The first stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. The symptoms are red, swollen gums that bleed easily. If not treated by a deep dental cleaning, the second stage of gum disease is experienced. The tartar below the gum line causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets that can become infected. This condition is called Periodontitis. The bone will deteriorate to the point the teeth become loose. The only treatment option will be to extract these teeth that lack support.
Research has now linked periodontal disease with other systemic diseases. Such conditions include:
- Heart Attack
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Respiratory Disease
- Digestive Disorders
Gum Disease is a serious condition that can lead to even larger problems. If you have any questions about gum disease, take immediate action.