Family Dental Group
4021 Miller Road, Flint, MI 48507

Watching out for gum disease is as important as preventing tooth decay

Watching-out-for-gum-disease-is-as-important-as-preventing-tooth-decay

There are a lot of ways to describe gum disease – gingivitis, periodontitis, receding gums and inflammation. But whatever term is used, the result may be the same. Tooth pain, inflamed gums and possible loss of teeth in extreme cases can result.

Gingivitis accounts for about 70 percent of gum disease and usually shows itself by bleeding when teeth are brushed and flossed or by the presence of continuous bad breath. It starts with bacteria lodged at the gum line when teeth aren’t properly cleaned and can lead to inflammation.

Left untreated, gingivitis may evolve into periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that occurs in about 30 percent of cases. Typically, periodontitis develops when inflammation has proceeded to the point that connective tissue and the bone that supports the teeth are affected.

While the teeth may remain healthy, if the gums aren’t strong enough to support them, tooth loss can occur, according to WedMD.com. That’s why it’s important to keep gum disease at bay at the first sign of a problem. Receding gums, pain at the gum line, sensitivity to hot and cold or red, puffy gums are indications that inflammation is present and gum disease has begun.

When gum disease occurs
Gum disease can begin as early as the teen years, although it is principally a condition of aging. Most people don’t experience this dental problem until they are past the age of 40, and it tends to worsen as people get older.

The American Dental Association warns that other factors can bring about gum disease, such as pregnancy and the hormonal changes that stem from it as well as health problems such as diabetes. Certain medications may aggravate gum health as well. As a result, patients should tell their dentists of any health issues they are experiencing.

Smoking is also a culprit, because the toxins in tobacco can contribute to gum loss. Stopping the habit will not only help halt the progression of gum inflammation, but it will improve the appearance of teeth, which can yellow from contact with tobacco.

Lessen gum problems
By far, the biggest influence in developing gum disease is the lack of good dental hygiene. When people don’t brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash on a regular basis, they aren’t cleaning away substances such as food and beverages that will coat their teeth and gums and cause damage. That leads to plaque buildup and tartar on the teeth, which may irritate and inflame the gums.

Dentists recommend using a soft-bristle brush and gentle brushing because it is easier on the gums and tooth enamel. Brushing two or three times a day and flossing at least once is often advised, along with regular rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.

The importance of flossing at least once – and preferably twice – each day is also stressed by dentistry experts. Floss penetrates deeply between teeth to get rid of any food bits and bacteria that may remain after brushing. It also strengthens the gums and helps to remove plaque before it builds up to a damaging level.

Prevention counts
The gums are the glue that cements the dental structure together. They encase the roots and nerves and hold teeth securely to the bone. Paying attention to gum health is as important as taking care of one’s teeth. By checking for gum disease early, people can prevent teeth from loosening or sensitivity around gum lines from occurring.

Regular check-ups at the dentist office will allow the condition of gum tissue to be evaluated periodically. Any deterioration will show up on X-rays along with tooth decay that has developed.

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I was an emergency walk-in and it was a short wait. Also the dentist discussed different options with me and did what he thought was best.
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Dental hygienist Angie did an awesome job on my teeth! Very thorough! The best cleaning I’ve had at this location.
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No waiting. Lady who cleaned my teeth was great and did a great job on my teeth. They wanted to schedule me for another procedure and I was given a quote so I knew what to expect. Very good […]
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Dr White is the best dentist I have ever had. Totally free of pain.
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Decided to change dentist for my 15yr old son and super pleased i did over all seems like the best decision i made got an appointment right away fixed the problem he had been having in half hr that […]
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I like the staff members that I have met, and the fact that services are commenced at the apointed time.
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Great hygienist and dentist!
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The staff was very friendly and helpful. And the dentist did an excellent job with the procedure and was very helpful. Overall I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the procedure and how well it […]
Oliver K.
Had to change dentist since and i found a great office. So glad i picked the right one. Coco was great and Dr. White is amazing so glad i got to meet them and now have them as my dental care team.
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Every thing was very good
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I have been attending Family Dental Group for many years…..probably 20 or more years…..they are the BEST in friendliness…..caring …..and professional….I can not imagine […]
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