Gum Disease: More Yucky Than You Realize
Every day, 24-hours a day, over 500 species of gross germs make your mouth their cozy home. When you figure that each species or kind may consist of 100,000 individual bacteria, it becomes clear why many dentists say that your mouth is home to more individual bacteria than there are people in New York. And, just like New York City, they NEVER sleep. They only do two things: chow down on food left in your teeth and make bacteria babies.
In reality, there is one more thing the germs do and that’s what causes all the problems. They poop out waste product. That bacteria poop is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is a result of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria waste that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s waste (plaque) contains chemicals that are destructive to your gums and your teeth.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
- bleeding gums during brushing
- red purple color to gums
- oral ulcers
- inflamed gums
- bad breath
If you schedule regular cleanings with Alexandria Old Town Dental and follow our hygienists’ advice on home care, the plaque can be removed and gum disease can be prevented. In addition, gum disease’s damages to teeth and gums are also very simple to reverse when addressed early by Alexandria Old Town Dental.
Our hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that take off the plaque build-up that normal brushing misses. They also offer education and instruction on how to get rid of the most plaque possible at home.
Gum disease is usually painless at the beginning, so you may not be aware that you have it. Combine that with 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 each checkup, Dr. Longman and a Alexandria Old Town Dental hygienist will measure the depth of the shallow, v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to identify whether you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks at the connection of your teeth and gum line in the sulcus, where it breaks down the connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease. Eventually, pockets can get so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And, that’s when they fall out.