If asked, many people might answer that tooth decay is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It would be a logical assumption, considering over 90% of adults in America have been affected by cavities in at least one of their permanent teeth. However, they’d be wrong—more adults lose their teeth to aggressive gum disease than any other cause, although fewer people are affected by it (about 80%) than tooth decay. Your Sheridan dentist, Dr. Donald Coon, explains how gum disease works to destroy your smile’s foundation and your ability to retain your natural teeth.
Your Smile’s Foundation Under Siege
While tooth decay attacks your teeth and gum disease afflicts your gums and jawbone, both diseases begin with the silent but destructive accumulation of dental plaque—the sticky substance that you can sometimes find on the surfaces of your teeth and along your gum line. This uncomfortable biofilm contains hundreds of different kinds of bacteria, some of which release toxins that irritate your gum tissue and force it to recede from your teeth (gum recession). The pockets that form allow more bacteria to gather safely out of your toothbrush’s reach, multiplying and continuing their destructive work unabated. Certain of these germs also manipulate your immune system’s inflammatory response, causing excessive inflammation of your gum tissue. If left untreated, the infection can quickly progress to gum disease and destroy your gums and jawbone, eliminating their ability to hold and support your teeth.
Obey the Warning Signs
Many people notice their gums bleeding when they brush their teeth, but disregard it because there’s no discomfort. However, bleeding and inflamed gums are the telltale sign of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease, and are rarely accompanied by physical discomfort until the disease progresses enough to expose your teeth’s sensitive roots, at which point your teeth may already be in trouble. If your gums appear red and swollen, or if they bleed at all when you brush, then call Dr. Coon immediately for a thorough examination.
Prevent & Treat Gum Disease at Your Sheridan Dentist’s Office
To learn more about treating and preventing gum disease and tooth loss, schedule a consultation with your Sheridan general dentist by contacting Grinnell Street Dental at (307) 672-7567. Located in the 82801 are, we welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and all surrounding communities.