Gum Disease: More Yucky Than You Realize
Right now, as you are reading this, 500 to 600 different kinds of gross germs make your mouth their cozy home. And that’s just KINDS of bacteria. Given that each kind can consist of well over 100,000 bacteria, it becomes clear why dentists say that your mouth has more bacterial residents than there are people in New York City. And, just like New York City, they NEVER go to sleep. They only do two things: eat leftover food in your teeth and make bacteria babies.
Well, actually, there is one more thing the bacteria do and that’s what causes all the problems. They defecate waste product. That bacteria excrement is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, the icky layer of bacteria excrement that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s excrement (plaque) contains chemical compounds that are destructive to your gums and your teeth.
Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) is very common in adults and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Research shows that over 75% of Americans age 35 and over have some form of gum disease as a result of medications, diet, or lack of adequate dental hygiene care.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
- bleeding gums after brushing
- cherry red color to gums
- mouth sores
- inflamed gums
- bad breath
If you follow our advice about dental home care and schedule twice-a-year cleanings at North Kansas City Dental, the plaque can be removed and gum disease can be prevented. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also amazingly easy to heal if treated early by Dr. Busch and Dr. VanYperen.
North Kansas City Dental’s hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that remove the plaque build-up that normal brushing fails to remove. They also provide education and instruction on how to get the maximum benefit from brushing and flossing.
Recent studies have shown an association between gum disease and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, low birth weight and diabetes. Because gum disease can have an adverse effect on your over-all health, Dr. Busch and Dr. VanYperen strongly suggest getting professional cleanings at least every six months.
Gum disease is oftentimes painless in the early stages, so you may not be aware that you have it. Add to that the fact that gum disease is virtually impossible for the patient to diagnose on their own and it becomes obvious why you need to see us regularly. At your cleanings, Dr. Busch and Dr. VanYperen and a North Kansas City Dental hygienist will take depth readings of the shallow, v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to determine if you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks at the connection of your teeth and gum line in the sulcus, where it damages the supporting and connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket. Eventually, the pocket can get so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And, that’s when they fall out.