Gum Disease

Your gum health is just as important, if not more important, than the health of your teeth. Although they may seem insignificant, your gums hold your teeth in place and protect your blood vessels from bacteria and foreign invaders. Poor oral health can break down your gums putting your body at risk for infection. Gum disease encompasses two main stages, gingivitis, which can be reversed with treatment, and periodontal disease, which cannot be reversed.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, you may be developing the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis. This condition begins with the build up of plaque on the gums and around the teeth. Plaque usually forms during a poor oral hygiene routine. Food and debris in the mouth are broken down into sugars and acids by saliva. These sugars and acids build up on the gums which makes the gums red, inflamed, and bleed when brushed or irritated. Luckily, at this stage the plaque has not damaged tissue or bone and its effect can be reversed with good oral hygiene at home and periodontal treatment at Heritage Dentistry.

Stage 2: Periodontal Disease

Once gingivitis builds up enough around the gums, it will begin to pull away the gum from the tooth. This is also referred to as receding gums. The further the gum is pulled away from the tooth, the deeper the pocket is formed. Now, the gums and the pockets between the gums and the tooth will collect debris and bacteria from the mouth. As bacteria collects in the pocket, it is pushed down and tries to make its way into the blood vessels that the gums protect. Additionally, the deeper the pockets reach, the more tissue and bone is destroyed. This can loosen the teeth and eventually cause them to fall out. Additionally, bone loss cannot be reversed, which may reduce your chance of supporting a dental implant in the future, if you chose to get one.

Gum disease can put your oral and overall health at risk for infection. Your mouth is one of the main entrances to your body and is also the beginning of your digestive tract. Keeping it clean and healthy will help your body fight off diseases before they enter your body. For more information about gum disease or to request an appointment at Heritage Dentistry, call our Frisco, Texas office at 469-535-6516, today!