San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Since you were a child, you’ve been told about the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth. We focus first and foremost on our teeth when it comes to maintaining oral health, but it’s important not to neglect your gums, too. Not only is gum disease one of the most widespread chronic diseases in the United States, but advanced and untreated cases of gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Read on as your San Francisco dentists at Glen Park Dental explain the importance of caring for your gums.
Learn about the dangers of gum disease
Gum disease occurs as a result of a bacterial infection in the gums—usually because of poor dental hygiene, which allows bacteria to accumulate under the gum line, eventually forming a sticky film of plaque. There are two stages of gum disease. Gums that are tender, red, inflamed, and prone to bleeding symptomize the first stage, gingivitis. You also may experience seemingly chronic bad breath during gingivitis. If your gum disease is identified and treated while still in this stage, the effects of the disease can be reversed. However, if gum disease progresses into its advanced stage called periodontitis, then permanent damage is done to your teeth and mouth. Pockets of infected bacteria form at the base of your teeth, also attacking the stability of your teeth and the supporting bone structure. Loose teeth, receding gums, bone deterioration, and eventual tooth loss all are consequences of living with untreated periodontitis.
You even face threats to your overall health and wellness as a result of gum disease. Untreated gum disease can make you up to two to three times more likely to develop heart disease, stroke, or some other type of serious cardiovascular problem as the infected bacteria from your mouth filters into the bloodstream.
You can take steps to limit your risk of gum disease
- Make sure to floss at least once per day. This helps to remove bacteria and plaque you can’t reach with a toothbrush, especially between teeth.
- Brush your teeth twice per day, but be sure to use the right technique. That means using a soft-bristled toothbrush, applied in a circular motion on the areas where the gums meet the teeth. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too aggressively will damage your gums.
- Consider adding antiseptic mouthwash to your at-home regimen of oral care. This will kill any potentially harmful bacteria left behind in your mouth after you brush and floss.
- Make lifestyle changes. First, moderate your consumption of sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities and gum disease feed off those sugars, excreting an acid that directly attacks your gums and tooth enamel. Also, if you use tobacco in any form, quit.
How we treat gum disease in San Francisco
Glen Park Dental has three different methods of treating gum disease:
- Repetitive therapy, a dental deep cleaning that combines scaling and root planing.
- Laser therapy, which removes infected gum tissue with minimal discomfort, bleeding, and recovery time, especially compared to traditional gum surgery.
- Arestin, an oral antibiotic that is applied as a powder directly to your gum tissue.
Let us help you get your gum disease under control. Schedule a consultation by calling (415) 585-1500 today if you live in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.