The Secret to a Great Smile is not Just Teeth
Everyone loves a great smile. It warms hearts, represents happiness, and spreads good cheer. And we all know the secret to a great smile- healthy teeth AND GUMS!
Most of the time people don’t think of their gums when they evaluate their smile. The gums, otherwise known as the gingiva cover the supporting structures of your teeth, most importantly the bone that surrounds the teeth and keeps them in your jaw.
If you loose bone around your teeth, the gums will receed and destruct your smile line. If you loose bone around your teeth then it doesn’t matter how great your cosmetic dentist is and what kind of porcelain crown they can put on your tooth. Bottom line- if everything below the tooth is not healthy then neither is the tooth!
Today we’ll discuss what causes tooth loss and how to avoid it. It’s time to get a closer look at bone loss and Periodontal Disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Technically speaking, Periodontal Disease is a slow progressive disease that leaves the gums red and puffy while housing large amounts of bacteria underneath them. Usually the area that the bacteria accumulate in is called a “pocket.” Periodontal pockets keep bacteria around your teeth and produce a toxin that leads to bone loss. This can lead to tooth loss. It can affect one tooth, or many teeth at a time.
Bones loss, when we talk about Periodontal Disease, means the bone that’s lost around the tooth. In your gums, there are roots that go into your bone and there’s bone around those roots.
When you lose the bone around those roots, the tooth tends to loosen. As the Periodontal Disease progresses (if left untreated,)the bone tissue disappears and the tooth can eventually get loose and fall out.
Signs, Causes, and Effects of Periodontal Disease and Bone Loss
The number one cause of Periodontal Disease is plaque around the tooth or inside the pocket around the tooth. Remember plaque is just a colony of bacteria. The plaque hardens if we don’t floss and brush regularly and effectively. The minerals in your saliva harden that soft plaque layer and turn them into tartar. Tartar is the rock hard yellowish layer that we remove when you come to the office, usually we use a scaler or ultrasonic to remove this since it can’t be eliminated with a toothbrush. It’s very important to floss because 35% of the bacteria on your teeth will not be eliminated if you don’t floss. Here are some signs and causes of Periodontal Disease.
Signs of Periodontal Disease:
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Odor of the breath
- Foul taste in your mouth
- Red and puffy gums
- Tooth mobility or shifting through time
- Abcesses around any of the teeth
- Large perio pockets (discovered by your dentist only)
- Pain on chewing
Causes for Periodontal Disease include:
- Smoking / Tobacco Use
- Grinding or Clenching your teeth
Some Major Effects of Periodontal Disease:
The last 10 years the American Heart Association has discovered a direct link between C-reactive protein(CRP), heart disease, and diabetes. When you have periodontal disease your CRP levels rise and make you more susceptible to heart disease and diabetes. YES, having bad gums and poor oral hygeine can affect the health of your heart! In addition gum disease has a snowball effect- the more of it you have the more you can get. If you suspect you have periodontal disease then come and and get your teeth cleaned so you can begin to reverse its effects. You won’t grow the bone back, but you can prevent further loss by doing some very basic things.
The number one way to prevent periodontal disease is by:
Most of the time people do not floss. The bacteria builds up and then irritates the gums. The gums start to bleed and then create more of an enviroment for more build-up and then all that build up solidifies and turns into tartar. The tartar resorbs the bone, and the process goes on and on. So, you wanna know a secret to keep your teeth?—FLOSS! Brushing is important but flossing is even more important because the plaque between the teeth can ONLY be taken care of with floss. And periodontal disease usually starts in between the teeth.
Other options are periodontal surgery, including bone grafting around the site that the bone has been resorbed at, and also cleaning those areas out by doing a “deep cleaning”.
Our suggestion, avoid the surgical approaches and take the 2 minutes twice a day to brush and floss. And if you haven’t gotten your teeth cleaned then schedule and appointment and get that tarter off of them so you can start on a clean slate!
After all, we all want to flash our best smiles everyday right?
For more information about dental health, visit our office at http://www.socalsmiles.net/appointments.
Posted on: December 12th, 2011