If you’ve ever been to the dentist you’ve probably heard the speech. There’s no question that every dentist seems to have one soapbox: flossing. Brushing is a vital component of dental care, but flossing is probably the easiest of the two for a person to ignore. However, science, research and experience have proven over and over again that although flossing seems to be a chore, it can save you from experiencing the effects of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease will lead to not only an unattractive smile but often result in great pain and tooth loss.
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is:
“a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.”
Warning Signs and Risk Factors
How do you know if you have periodontal disease? Here are some signs from the American Dental Association (ADA):
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Also, according to the ADA there are ways that your risk of periodontal disease could increase:
- Use of tobacco (smoking or chewing)
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
Can Periodontal Disease Be Corrected?
Thankfully modern technology and seasoned professionals have made the affects of periodontal disease able to be remedied. If you are already missing teeth, you may want to consider modern dental implants. Dentists that offer dental implants have state-of-the-art implant dentistry.
Dental implants offer patients with missing teeth many options for unparalleled support, function, and beauty.
Dr. Fitzgerald has practiced cosmetic and implant dentistry for over 25 years. He practices oral surgery, dental implants, implant dentures, mini implant dentures, implant-supported bridges, implant crowns, crown lengthening, and more.