If you take good care of your teeth, you likely brush twice a day for two minutes, and you floss once a day. You come see us at Kalil & Kress every six months for your prophylaxis (fancy word for professional cleaning), exams, and x-rays (when needed).
And it’s probably hard to imagine having gum disease, clinically known as periodontal disease or periodontitis. Let’s keep it that way.
No one wants gum disease, and for those who do develop it, there is so much coulda woulda shoulda involved — almost all cases of gum disease are preventable with proper home hygiene and regular checkups.
Still, hygiene can get lackadaisical and what starts as a case of simple gingivitis, gum irritation, progresses into periodontitis. Now you’re not simply looking at bleeding gums and bad breath, you’re looking at losing your teeth. Gum disease is even linked to systemic health risks, including heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress both have extensive experience treating, and hopefully reversing, gum disease.
What causes gum disease?
Plaque is the culprit here. Plaque is the sticky film that forms on your teeth throughout the day. It is made up of bacteria and sugars from food. When you brush and floss you remove plaque, but it starts building again immediately. If you don’t remove the plaque that’s when trouble starts. First, the plaque left to its own devices begins to make its way under your gumline. This shows itself in your gums becoming red, instead of healthy pink, and bleeding easily. This is your gums’ way of telling you to wake up and smell the approaching gum disease. Also, plaque left alone turns into tartar on your teeth. Tartar is the hard off-white colored stuff that you cannot remove at home. Only professional cleanings can do that. Tartar can also move under your gumline.
Now that this has happened your gums become chronically irritated, kind of like your older sister when she was in high school! The gums will now develop infections as the bacteria attacks. In response, your gums pull away from the teeth, creating nice little pockets where even more bacteria take up residence and multiply. The constant inflammation is now weakening the connective tissues that are keeping your teeth in place. Teeth begin to loosen and the jawbone itself begins to deteriorate. Now your future is tooth loss and dentures.
Signs to watch for
That description is like a slow-motion car wreck on an icy Nashua street — you see it coming for a long time before it actually happens. These are the signs to watch for that are telling you your gums need attention from Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress.
- Patches of redness along your gumline
- Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
- Swollen gum tissue that is shiny, mushy, and dry to the touch
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath that mints won’t help
- Loose teeth
OK, that was like a horror movie where the kids split up to go search in the woods. It didn’t need to happen! Same with gum disease. Take better care of your teeth and gum disease will never scare you.
Still, if you have the signs above, we need to see you soon. Call us at (603) 880-7004 to make an appointment.