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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gum Disease

If you have sometimes gone for long periods without adequately brushing and flossing your teeth, you may have experienced tender gums and associated bleeding. With your tongue, you can also feel the rough film on your teeth we call plaque. Plaque becomes tartar, a hard substance with tiny sharp edges, which cause the bleeding.

This is the first stage of gum disease and is known as gingivitis. Plaque consists of bacteria and their excretions, and left alone, bacteria will thrive and multiply, spreading into every little cozy nook available. This will include the small pockets called the sulcus, between each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue.

This build-up will push the gums away from the base the teeth, making room for even more bacteria to grow. Their excretions are acid and therefore eat into tooth enamel. Inflammation builds up in the surrounding gums. This first stage of gum disease is preventable with adequate oral hygiene.

If not taken care of, gingivitis progresses to the next stage of gum disease, called periodontitis. Now the inflammation turns to infection as it is allowed to build up under the gum line. The gums fall away from the teeth and deteriorate. The longer this condition continues, the more likely it is that teeth will loosen and fall out. Left untreated, the decay and infection will spread through the gums into the jawbone.

If you have been suffering from progressive gum disease, please contact us as soon as possible. Delay in not in your best interests, and we can stop that disease more easily if we start on it sooner rather than later. You can read more on our Gum Treatments page. Please contact our Colonial Dental Group Chicago office today to schedule an initial consultation.

posted by Patti at 12:55 PM


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