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Gum Disease

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Two terms that we have been hearing more about are gum disease and periodontal disease. In fact, they are one and the same. This infections process occurs in stages, with the final stage posing a very real risk to the stability of teeth, as well as to general health. At Pure Gold Dental, one of our top priorities is to help our patients avoid this very concerning oral disease.

To say one has gum disease does not mean that his or her entire mouth is affected. Gum disease often begins around one or a few teeth. The chronic infection, however, can spread to surrounding teeth over time, breaking down healthy tissue both above and below the gum line. At the heart of gum disease are aggressive oral bacteria, which live in plaque, a colorless, odorless biofilm that forms on teeth.

The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, another term regularly used in dental offices as well as in the media. This early condition is so subtle that it is easy to overlook signs such as chronic bad breath or slightly red, swollen gums. The unfortunate aspect of missing the early signs is that gum disease can actually be reversed at this time, and only at this time. To protect the health of your teeth and gums, and your overall health as well, we encourage you to visit your dentist regularly. With professional care and home habits, it is possible to stop the progression of infection when gum disease is detected early.

Left untreated, gum disease will extend to areas below the gums due to weakening of tissue around the teeth. As gum tissue pulls away from tooth structure, pockets form and bacteria move in. Before long, periodontitis develops. This condition occurs as a result of constant exposure to toxins from bacteria, leading to chronic inflammation. In addition to degrading soft tissues, bacteria are now also breaking down the bone that supports stable teeth. Treatment for periodontitis is a must in order to avoid tooth loss or the need for extraction.

An oral condition with systemic side effects

Treating gum disease is not only important for the oral health, but also for systemic health. We know through ongoing research that gum disease is linked to a number of very concerning health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s. Individuals with diabetes have a greater challenge in managing their overall health when gum disease is also a problem. As a result of chronic infection, the body is in a perpetual state of inflammation, a state in which health is compromised.

Gum disease is a common condition with very serious implications. Talk with your Pure Gold dentist about how to prevent or treat this infection.

About Dr. Terry Vines

Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry are committed to providing patients of all backgrounds with the best quality dental care with elevated professional standards. Dr. Terry Vines and his team of skilled dentists are specialized in cosmetic and general dentistry treatments. Dr. Vines gained his dental degree from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and he has been actively practicing dentistry since 1987. He holds membership in many prestigious dental associations including the American Dental Association and his patients value his compassionate nature and patient centric approach.

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