Gum Disease: You Probably Have It And Don’t Know It
Each and every day, 500 to 600 species of wiggling germs are happy and comfortable living in your mouth. When you add up 50,000 from one species and 100,000 from another species, it’s easy to see why many dentists say that your mouth has more bacterial residents than there are people in the city of New York. And, just like New York city, they NEVER go to sleep. They only do two things: munch 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 excrete waste product. That bacteria poop is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, the icky layer of bacteria waste that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s waste (plaque) contains chemical compounds that attack your teeth and your gum tissue.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
- bleeding gums during brushing
- cherry red color to gum
- oral ulcers
- inflamed gums
- bad breath
If you schedule regular cleanings with Berrien Dental and follow our hygienists’ advice on home care, it is possible to remove the plaque and prevent gum disease. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also very simple to fix if addressed early by Dr. Christy and Dr. Balsis.
Berrien Dental’s hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that get rid of the plaque coating that at-home brushing fails to remove. They also provide education and instruction on how to get rid of the most plaque possible at home.
Gum disease is deceptively painless early on, so you may not be aware that you have it. Combine that with the fact that gum disease is nearly impossible for the patient to self-diagnose and it becomes obvious why you need to see us on a regular basis. At your cleanings, Dr. Christy and Dr. Balsis and a Berrien Dental hygienist will take depth measurements of the 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 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.