Gum Disease – You Have a Choice
If you had to choose between a toothless grin and a bright, beautiful smile, which would you prefer? It seems like a silly question with one answer as the obvious choice, no matter who you ask. However, each day millions of Americans make choices about their dental care that would suggest they prefer a toothless grin to a mouth full of shiny, pearly whites. Gum disease affects 75 percent of the adult population and is the leading cause of tooth loss in America. The disease is a result of poor dental care habits and missed visits to the dentist, meaning it’s highly preventable. Next time you consider skipping your bedtime dental care routine or one of those bi-annual visits to your dentist in Reading, ask yourself if a toothless grin is really your preferred choice.
Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, is an inflammation of the gums that causes red, swollen gums that often bleed easily while brushing. Gingivitis can be reversed with diligent dental care and intensive gingivitis treatment.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Forgetting or skipping a routine brushing, flossing, or swigging of mouthwash leaves food particles and sticky bacteria, known as plaque, sitting on your teeth. Over time—as little as twenty minutes after eating or drinking—plaque releases acids that erode the enamel of the teeth, causing tooth decay. Within in 72 hours, the plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which require professional dental care for removal. Most tartar forms along the gum line, making certain areas difficult to clean. Left untreated, the plaque and tartar spreads to the gums, causing inflammation and irritation that is known as gingivitis.
What Causes Periodontitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, but its development is highly dependent upon your body’s ability to fight the effects of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, also known as gum disease, due to any of these factors:
- Tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco is the number one cause of gum disease in the U.S., according to the American Dental Association.
- Bacteria. There are more than 400 kinds of bacteria that live in the mouth. Although only 15 types contribute to gum disease, they are often aggressive without routine dental care.
- Uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetes can contribute to gum disease by making affected people more susceptible to infection. Also, gum disease can make controlling diabetes more difficult.
- Genes. Certain genes and inherited conditions of immune response have been linked to a predisposition for gum disease. It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of people are affected by gum disease due to genetics.
The symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease can be subtle, which makes regular visits to your family dentistry experts essential to an early diagnosis and successful gum disease or gingivitis treatment.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Reading, call Gentle Dental of Reading today at (484) 334-2592 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Reading. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Reading, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Reading.