To the majority of the world, it’s gum disease or gingivitis. To your dentist, it’s known as periodontal disease. This condition is incredibly common, experienced by most people at least once in their life. Its signs are gums that are red and tender and bleed when brushed. If left untreated, it can pose a serious risk to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. It can even lead to life-threatening conditions, especially severe cases. This makes getting frequent periodontal checkups at Desert Pearl Dentistry an important part of maintaining lifelong dental and overall health.
How Often You Should See Us About Gum Disease
Our oral cavity is a complex ecosystem, and one of its most prevalent players is streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. When you eat or drink anything other than water, you provide food for these bacteria, who use it to produce plaque and, eventually, tartar. Tartar is a hard substance, also known as calculus, that happens when plaque hardens. Plaque and tartar serve as homes for these bacteria and threaten the teeth with the acids that are the byproduct of these bacteria.
Thankfully, controlling these substances, known as bio-film, is relatively easy. You must keep to a strict oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Just as importantly, you’ll need to maintain twice-a-year visits to Dr. Morales at our clinic for regular cleanings and checkups. However, you may need to visit our office more often than that if you detect the signs of gingivitis.
- Gingivitis: Stage 1 Periodontal Disease – The first signs of gingivitis are inflamed gums and bleeding when brushed. This inflammation results from the bacteria injuring your gums, leading to additional blood being routed to the area to help the body heal and combat it. This is what causes your gums to turn red and makes them bleed easier. Unfortunately, many people ignore these signs and will only come in when they’re experiencing discomfort.
- Periodontitis: Late Stage Periodontal Disease – This condition stage occurs when the connective tissue beneath the gums becomes involved. At this stage, the bacteria have gotten beneath the gums due to gaps known as gingival pockets. In addition to the gums and roots of the teeth, this stage can threaten the jawbone if it advances far enough. Abscesses may also occur, pockets of infection that can cause further damage or even get into the bloodstream. When the infection enters the bloodstream, a condition known as sepsis occurs, which is life-threatening.
The gums are rarely a source of pain in and of themselves. It is this fact that makes gingivitis such an insidious disease. For this reason, the best thing you can do for your persisting oral health is to visit our clinic and be treated by Dr. Morales once every six months as part of a regular checkup.
Schedule Your Next Visit With Desert Pearl Dentistry Today
If it’s getting close to six months since you last saw your dentist, call us today. Today, we’ll schedule you for a standard checkup, which includes a thorough gum disease inspection. By taking steps to detect and prevent gum disease, you’ll ensure your smile remains healthy and bright for years.