Do you wear sunscreen on blistering hot days? Do you buckle your seat belt when going on a road trip? Like these measures, taking care of your gums and teeth marks the benefits of preventative care. Think ahead of time. Not only will staying on top of your gum health ward off unwanted accidents, it might also keep money in the bank later on.
The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is the inflammation of your gums. Red tissue, receding gum lines and bleeding gums after brushing are all telltale signs of gingivitis. This occurs when plaque is allowed to accumulate in the pockets between where your teeth meet the gums. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce toxins that slowly eat away at the tissue. Although gums may be irritated at this point, teeth remain firmly planted in their sockets, and no irreversible bone damage has occurred yet.
If left untreated, however, gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease, or advanced-stage gum disease. At this point, the inner layer of the gum and bone begin to pull away from teeth, creating small pockets. The deeper the pockets, the more space bacteria have to grow.
At its nastiest, gum disease can result in the loss of teeth as well as the bones that support the teeth.
Biggest causes of gum diseases:
• Tobacco products: Smoking, chewing and any other use of tobacco has been shown as one of the leading causes of gum disease. The chemicals in tobacco leave harmful bacteria in the mouth, which erodes the gum tissue. When this happens, smoker’s breath might be the least of one’s concerns. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis.