The invisible progress of gum disease: a true danger to dental health

With 90% of the population suffering from bleeding gums at some point of their lives, periodontal disease is today a real threat

Sensitive gums that bleed with the contact of a toothbrush or dental floss are a sign of a problem which requires careful attention and a professional dentist’s diagnosis. The accumulation of dental plaque where the teeth meet the gums is the main cause of gingivitis, the inflammation of gum tissues because of the bacteria contained in dental plaque.

Long term gingivitis indicates plaque has been accumulating over time. It can lead to the formation of “pockets”, a separation between gum and teeth, where the process continues even if the bleeding stops. 10% of the patients who suffer from bleeding gums and develop “pockets” end up having periodontal disease, which is an inflammation around the teeth that usually leads to the loss of bone supporting teeth and, eventually, to tooth loss.

To prevent that from happening, a good oral health is essential. Oral hygiene can remove much of the soft plaque thanks to the use of fine brushing techniques and dentifrices, but a professional cleaning is also needed to remove tartar –that is, calcified plaque. Overcrowded or misaligned teeth are difficult to clean, even with the use of floss or interdental brushes. That can lead to gum problems and tooth decay or loss, as well as to periodontal disease. Braces help correct this conditions, thus preventing “pockets” from forming in the gum line. Therefore, a part from an aesthetic reason, dental braces for adults have the function to improve dental health and prevent from serious conditions. A good oral hygiene becomes essential, then, during orthodontic treatment.

In the eventual case of tooth loss because of these or other causes, such as smoking, severe illness or a serious accident, implants become an option to fill the gaps the missing teeth have left. However, as Perfect Smile dental clinics’ specialists point out, one of the requisites for implants to be successful is to have healthy gums. Dental implants and gum disease are incompatible, so any gum bleeding or periodontal condition has to be well solved beforehand to become a suitable candidate for implants. In addition, once the implant is done, a good oral hygiene becomes essential, particularly during the healing process, for it to be successful and last long.

Even though bleeding gums indicate there is a high risk of severe inflammation and periodontal disease, most people are still under the impression that it’s a normal reaction when brushing their teeth. This misconception is most likely to lead to bad dental condition and probably to gum disease, thus affecting their daily lives and their general health.

Paying special attention to both teeth and gums during oral hygiene procedures is therefore an essential behaviour for everyone’s dental health

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