Have you met a person whose breath you can smell a mile away? Are the teeth moving and have loads of plaque and tartar on it? Are the gums red and bleeding? If the answer is yes, you have gum disease.
People often tell me that they have bad teeth, their parents had bad teeth and grandparents had dentures when they were 30 years old. They are fearful and sad because they feel will lose their teeth and be in a denture. Bad teeth are due to neglect, poor oral hygiene, and poor eatting habits. Too much sugar, little or no brushing and flossing, and overgrowth off bacteria will lead to decay and tooth loss. The bacteria in the mouth cause gingivitis and periodontitis, gum disease. Gingivitis is inflamation of the gums. Through time, the gingivitis will develop into an infection which leads to gum disease. Gum disease means bone loss, bleeding gums and bad breath. The bone in your mouth is what supports the teeth. Without bone, the teeth will eventually fall out. The bleeding gums and the smelly breath is caused by the bacteria on the surfaces of the teeth.
To prevent and control gum disease, a dental hygienist will do a scaling and root planning which means cleaning the teeth below and around the gum. Bacteria, tartar, and plaque will be removed. In some cases a medicine is placed on the gums to further kill the bacteria. After the treatment is done, it is your responsibility to brush, floss, eat properly and maintain your oral health. The hygienist will schedule you back to help you maintain the gum disease and keep it under control. If you stop the maintaining your hygiene, the disease will come back. To maintain healthy teeth and gums, go regularly to the dentist for routine check ups and maintainence. This will save you lots of time, money, and pain.
Dr. Linda Ma DMD