gum disease

gum diseaseMaryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN

It has been reported that nearly half of adults over 30 years of age in the United States suffer from periodontitis, the more serious form of periodontal disease. Did you know that there are two types of periodontal disease? At one time it was thought that gingivitis, the first step of periodontal disease, was merely the first stage in a degenerative disease process. The good news, though, is that gingivitis can now be reversed! Follow along as your Maryville dentist at Choto Family Dentistry shares with you some important facts about periodontal disease, and what you can do to combat gingivitis.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. Gingivitis occurs in both acute and chronic forms. Acute gingivitis is connected to a specific infection, organism or trauma. The chronic inflammation of gum tissue is associated with the build-up of plaque that covers the teeth and gums due to a lack of proper oral hygiene.

Periodontitis

When it affects the bone and tissue, periodontal disease has morphed into periodontitis, which is characterized by pockets between the teeth and the gums. As it worsens and develops, it can cause loose teeth or the complete loss of affected teeth. As it progresses, sometimes rapidly, sometimes more slowly, the level of oral hygiene and genetic factors can play a part. At first, bleeding during teeth brushing is common, but as the disease worsens, the bleeding may stop, and no other symptoms may be experienced until the teeth begin to loosen. With treatment, the disease can be stopped, but the destruction cannot be reversed without the seeking restorative care from a dentist.

Smoking and Stress

Smoking and stress are risk factors for periodontal disease. One of the worst types of this disease is Vincent’s disease, characterized by ulcers and necrotizing gingivitis. It occurs almost exclusively in smokers. Diet, too, plays a part in developing the build-up of plaque. Stress is also linked to periodontal disease, but researchers are not sure whether it is a physiological response to inflammation or because those under stress don’t brush or floss as often.

Plaque Control and best Brushing Techniques

The best way to control plaque is to brush your teeth twice a day.  Brushing the teeth should be taught as soon as the first tooth appears. From age 2-7 parents should continue to brush their child’s teeth until they have the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth with a tiny amount of toothpaste. Be sure and include the permanent molars at the back of the mouth, which appear around this time. Also make sure the child does not brush too hard, creating abrasion to the enamel and excessive pressure on the teeth. The toothbrush should be gripped pencil-style, not with four fingers and the brush resting against the palm.

Extra ways to remove plaque

There are three additional aids when it comes to plaque removal. They are plaque-disclosing agents, dental floss and mouth rinses. Plaque-disclosing agents color plaque to make it easier to see and thus be gotten rid of, which can be helpful for children to visualize the effectiveness of their teeth cleaning.  The disclosing agents do not remove plaque, just makes it easier to spot and remove. Floss can also be used to spot plaque between teeth. Mouthwashes and antiseptic mouth rinses are also of some value in removing plaque.

The dental professionals at Cedar Street Family Dentistry are here to help! We will partner with you to get you the relief you need from your periodontal disease. Our staff of caring professionals is proud to serve Tennesseans just like you in the Knoxville-Alcoa area. To schedule your appointment, please call Cedar Street Family Dentistry at (865) 233-7640.