Periodontal Health Affects
Research has shown that gum disease can influence heart disease and other health conditions in negative ways. They suggest that gum disease could even be a more serious factor in heart disease than smoking, cholesterol, hypertension and age. One reason for this is the fact that the bacteria found in diseased gums can come loose and move throughout the body. When this bacteria reaches arteries it can cause arterial plaque to build up and harden which in return adversely affect blood flow.
Teeth that are suffering damage from gum disease will always be more sensitive to cold; and if you avoid cleaning them due to this sensitivity, it can only make the problem worse.
After dental treatment, some teeth may be more sensitive because this is their way of dealing with injury. Injuries to teeth such as cavities, gum infection and jaw clenching can damage the nerves in a tooth. The sensitivity should not last long after treatment as long as your teeth are kept clean; otherwise, the sensitivity is likely to get worse. If your teeth are ever extra sensitive, please consult with Dr. Hayatt as this could be a sign that you need a root canal or gum tissue treatment.
Healthy gums are generally pink and anchor the teeth firmly in place.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is ultimately an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque and bacteria at the gumline.
As you eat throughout your day, a layer of sticky food particles tend to build up at the base of teeth just above the gumlines. This sticky layer of buildup is what is commonly known as plaque. Brushing and flossing twice a day is usually good enough to effectively remove plaque from on and between your teeth. Click here to see other helpful oral hygiene tips.
If plaque is allowed to sit at the gumline due to not brushing and flossing correctly or at all it will start to harden into tartar. This hard, color-less tartar uses the sugars left on teeth from foods and drinks and causes bacteria to form right at the gumline. Tartar is not removable during normal brushing and flossing. We can successfully remove tartar during a routine dental checkup so it is important that you request an appointment and come in for regular dental cleanings.
The bacteria produced from plaque and tartar works its way beneath the gums which causes inflammation and could cause some discomfort. Red/inflamed gums are the beginning signs of gingivitis. This bacteria can often be stopped but as long as tartar remains in your mouth, it will continue to produce harmful bacteria and gum disease will continue to get worse.
There are other factors that can contribute to gum disease in addition to plaque and bad oral hygiene. These include:
- Increased gum sensitivity due to pregnancy can lead to inadequate brushing and flossing thus helping the formation of gum disease.
- Some medications can decrease the production of saliva. Saliva is your mouths protection throughout the day and created a barrier between food particles and your teeth and gums. Chewing gum can promote an increase in saliva production.
- Smoking makes it harder for gum tissues to heal when trying to fight gum disease and can actually help gum disease advance.
Stages Of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis develops as toxins, enzymes and other plaque byproducts by irritating the gums, making them tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily. Gingivitis generally can be stopped with proper oral hygiene and minor treatment from your dentist. If this is achieved, your gums can return to a healthy state.
Moderate gum disease is when the tooth's bone tissue starts to deteriorate. Periodontitis occurs when plaque byproducts destroy the tissues that anchor your teeth in the bone. The gums deteriorate and begin detaching themselves from the teeth forming gum pockets, which allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. This causes the roots of the teeth to become susceptible to decay. Generally, patients notice an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold and to touch.
Advanced periodontitis occurs when a major amount of gum and bone tissue has been lost and the teeth are losing more and more support due to the loss of periodontal ligament and bone. Some teeth are unable to be saved and must be extracted. If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause severe health problems elsewhere in the body.