Grand Prairie Dentist Reminds You to Take Care of Your Gums

Many people worry first and foremost about their teeth when it comes to their oral health. They seek to prevent cavities and focus mostly on brushing in their homecare. However, homecare should also address the gums, which are vital to your oral health. If uncared for, gums can potentially develop gum disease, which can devastate the mouth and increase health risks. Below, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, discusses the development and dangers of gum disease and what you can do to prevent it.

Early Gum Disease

Gum disease often begins with the presence of bacteria on teeth near the gum line. If left unimpeded, these bacteria can inflame the gums, causing gingivitis, and while inflammation may not sound too devastating, gingivitis can be a difficult disease to shake. You see, the bacteria responsible for gingivitis trigger the body’s production of an anti-inflammatory molecule called IL-10. Unfortunately, this molecule interferes with the body’s T-cells, which are responsible for fighting bacteria. Thus, it is quite common for gum disease bacteria to linger, and when they linger, gingivitis may progress into a periodontitis, a form of gum disease capable of doing more damage.

Advanced Gum Disease

Periodontitis attacks the ligaments and tissues that support teeth. As these ligaments and tissues become damaged, teeth may loosen, shift, and eventually fall out. At the same time, pockets often develop between the teeth and the gums. These pockets are often filled with bacteria and require cleaning to improve the health of the gums and to protect the teeth.

Health Risks Associated with Gum Disease

Several health risks have been associated with gum disease. They include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Homecare and Gum Disease

Diligent homecare can help keep gum disease at bay. Be sure that you brush twice a day, angling the bristles of your toothbrush toward the gum line to remove any lingering bacteria. Also be sure to floss once a day. When flossing, use clean sections of the floss as your work your way through your mouth. Otherwise, you may simply move bacteria around your mouth instead of removing it. Lastly, be sure to attend regular dental visits with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith. Professional cleanings can remove stubborn plaque and tartar, which contain bacteria that can potentially cause gum disease.

Schedule a Visit with Your Grand Prairie Dentist

When was the last time you attended a dental visit? If it was more than six months ago, you are due for a checkup. Contact our 75052 dental office to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, today by calling 972-262-5111. We welcome patients from Grand Prairie, Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and surrounding communities.