When thinking about oral care, the gums sometimes get overlooked. We have toothbrushes, dental floss, and we attend dentists (Dent means tooth in Latin). But just as important as our teeth are our gums, and the major threat to our gums is gum disease. Knowing the consequences of unhealthy gums is very important to a healthy mouth, so your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, is here to answer your most frequently asked questions about gum disease.
Is Gingivitis Really That Serious?
Yes, it is. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, which sounds kind of like a rash for your mouth. Nonetheless, gingivitis is very serious. The bacteria responsible for the disease inhibit the immune system from fighting against them, allowing gingivitis to linger and often progress into periodontitis, a more damaging form of gum disease.
Can Gum Disease Cause Tooth Loss?
Absolutely. Periodontitis attacks teeth and their supporting tissues and ligaments beneath the surface of the gums. As those areas decay, teeth become looser and can eventually fall out. Some symptoms of periodontitis include loose teeth, shifting teeth, the development of pockets between teeth and gums, bad breath, bleeding gums, puffy gums, and sensitive gums.
How Is Gum Disease Prevented?
Gum disease can be prevented by good homecare and regular dental visits to your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Peddicord. A thorough homecare regimen should incorporate brushing twice per day and flossing once per day. When brushing, angle the bristles of the toothbrush toward the gum line to remove bacteria from the base of teeth. When flossing, continue to use clean sections of the floss as you work your way through your mouth. Finally, you should attend a dental checkup and cleaning once every six months.
Schedule a Visit with Your Ankeny Dentist
Regular dental visits can help keep gum disease at bay. If more than six months have passed since your last dental visit, schedule an appointment with your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Peddicord, today by calling 515-963-3339. Our 50021 dentist office welcomes patients from Ankeny, Bondurant, Cambridge, Sheldal, Maxwell, Collins, and all surrounding communities.