The pandemic has caused everyone a level of concern when considering going to the dentist. Although research shows dentist offices are properly sanitized, people have chosen to neglect their dental health throughout this difficult time. Neglecting dental health can cause gum disease and when left untreated, permanent damage to your oral health and bone can happen.
Periodontal Disease or Gum Disease is an infection of the tissues in your mouth, typically caused by poor dental habits causing a buildup of plaque. This infection can lead to loose teeth, bone damage, or tooth loss. Gum Disease affects half of Americans aged 30 or older or 64.7 million Americans and men are more likely to have gum disease than women.
This early stage of gum disease shows signs of infection through inflammation or swollen gums and the start of receding gum lines. Gums that are bright red in color, bleed easily and feel tender when touched are also signs. Gingivitis can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing, as well as professional cleaning by a dentist.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to Periodontitis. This condition results in gums pulling away from teeth and the formation of pockets that can become infected. At this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gumline, which traps food and plaque. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage.
In this final stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. This can affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment can’t save them, teeth may need to be removed.
During your regular hygiene visit (cleaning), your dentist can identify these early signs of gum disease. Once gum disease reaches the later stages, moving to periodontitis, it can only be treated and never cured. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and visiting our office for regular hygiene appointments can reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
Give us a call at 202-463-2090 to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Cooper.