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Dentistry Memphis

The Causes and Prevention of Gum Disease

Memphis Gum DiseasePeriodontal disease, which is more commonly known as gum disease, is a problem that affects thousands of people each year. For Memphis patients, gum disease can range from gum inflammation to a serious disorder that can result in irreparable damage to your bone and soft tissue that act as support for your teeth. The very worst cases of gum disease may result in complete tooth loss. Understanding the causes of this disorder and the preventative steps you can take to avoid gum disease will help you avoid the dire consequences that it causes.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease begins with an accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is pale yellow in color and something that naturally develops on the teeth over time. It is formed by food particles and bacteria that adhere to the smooth surface of your teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth will help to eliminate plaque; however, plaque can still regrow within a few days. If plaque is not removed, it will form into tartar within a period of two or three days. Tartar is very hard to remove, especially compared to plaque. It is difficult to remove tartar on your own, and you will need to see a general or cosmetic dentist for the removal process.

If patients do not seek professional treatment for the accumulation of tartar, the plaque that is present will begin to progressively damage teeth as well as the surrounding areas. In most cases, patients will first develop gingivitis, which is a type of inflammation around the base of teeth and gums. If gingivitis is allowed to persist, it may result in the development of pockets between your teeth and gums. The pockets will then begin to fill up with bacteria. The toxins that are produced by the bacteria and the response of your immune system to the infection will begin to destroy the connective tissues and bone that holds your teeth in place. Eventually the teeth will become loose and may even begin to fall out.

Preventing Gum Disease

Avoiding gum disease requires regular flossing and brushing to prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar. It is also important to schedule regular dental exams and eat a healthy diet. Patients can help avoid gum disease by adhering to the following good oral hygiene habits:

  • Brush teeth a minimum of two times daily
  • Use an antiseptic type of mouthwash
  • Floss at least once a day

You should also eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Gum Disease Treatment

If you are diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will remove any bacteria present in the pockets around the teeth. This is important to prevent any more damage to your tissue and bone. Good oral hygiene is required to prevent the disorder from returning. If the disease does progress and cause tooth loss, dental implants may be needed to replace missing teeth and help restore bone loss in your jaw.

Learn More about Gum Disease

If you would like more information on gum disease, or to simply ensure that you do not have early signs of the disorder, contact Dr. Timothy Messer at Southwind Dental Care today. The staff will help you set up an appointment to ensure that no signs of gum disease are present and provide the proper treatment if necessary. 

Tagged In: Gum Disease, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.