Gum Disease: You Probably Have It And Don’t Know It
Each and every day, 500 to 600 unique types of gross 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 becomes clear why some dentists say that your mouth has more bacteria living in it than there are people in New York city. And, just like New York city, they NEVER go to sleep. They only do two things: chow down on food left in your teeth and make more germs.
Well, actually, there is one more thing the bacteria 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 caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria poop that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s poop (plaque) has chemicals that are destructive to your gums and your teeth.
Common symptoms of gum disease are:
• bleeding gums during brushing
• blood red color to gums
• oral ulcers
• inflamed gums
• bad breath
If you follow our advice about dental home care and schedule twice-a-year cleanings at Fred H. Peck, DDS, the plaque can be removed and gum disease can be prevented. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also quite simple to heal if addressed early by our hygienists.
The hygienists at Fred H. Peck, DDS provide gentle, thorough cleanings that remove the plaque accumulation that regular brushing misses. They also provide education and instruction on how to get rid of the most plaque possible at home.
Gum disease is oftentimes painless at the beginning, so you may not know you have it. Couple that with the fact that gum disease is virtually 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. Peck and a Fred H. Peck, DDS hygienist will take depth measurements of the shallow, v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to diagnose if you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks just below the 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. Over time, 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.