Plaque is a sticky film that coats teeth and contains bacteria. There is a connection between plaque and gum disease. If plaque is not consistently removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called tartar. Tartar is considerably more difficult to remove. Gum disease in its mildest form is referred to as gingivitis. This is a progressive condition, with concentrated areas of inflammation, worsening with time. In its advanced form, it is the leading cause of tooth loss. It accounts for about 70% of adult tooth loss. Symptoms, such as red, bleeding, painful, inflamed gums are typical, as are bad breath, a strange taste in your mouth, and gaps between teeth. It is possible, however, that no symptoms exist.
Genetics is also a factor in gum disease, as are lifestyle choices. A poor diet can weaken the body’s ability to fight infection, thus increasing susceptibility to gum disease. This can also be said about stress. Stress can affect the ability to ward off disease, contributing to a higher risk for gum disease.
Dr. Auslander works to identify symptoms at first sight. Once discovered, a variety of non-surgical procedures are available to combat gum disease. For example, scaling and root planing cleanings at our office are special cleanings used to remove plaque and tartar from under the gum line. It even smooths the root surfaces to promote healing. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary.
If left to progress, the effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health, eventually leading to the need for periodontal therapy. Through proper preventive care, oral hygiene, and early diagnosis at Auslander Dental, you can avoid serious problems associated with gum disease.