Rockford Dentist - The Teeth People
If you’re like most Americans, you probably take your gums for granted, focusing your oral healthcare on your teeth. However, maintaining your periodontal tissue is just as important as cleaning your teeth when it comes to keeping your smile healthy. Unfortunately, the American Dental Association recently reported that, “according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - periodontal disease affects nearly half of the U.S. population.”
At The Teeth People, our team is here to help you avoid becoming part of this sobering statistic. Educating yourself about your gums and attending regular checkups can go a long way in keeping your mouth healthy.
Gun Disease Fundamentals
First, it’s important to understand what gum disease actually is. Basically, the same bacteria that eat away at your enamel and cause cavities can infect your periodontal tissue, causing it to become inflamed and irritated. During its early, mild stage, this infection is called gingivitis, and can usually be treated with better oral hygiene techniques.
However, if left untreated (as, regrettably, it often is), gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a serious condition that can create pockets of infection, gum recession, and even tooth loss. For these reasons, it is important to keep both your teeth and your gums clean. Similarly to cavities, it is also vital to catch gum disease before it becomes much more difficult to treat.
What Happens During A Periodontal Exam?
Similar to a dental assessment, a periodontal exam is a procedure to observe and evaluate the health of your gum tissue. This allows Dr. Thomas T. Chung to determine if you suffer from gum disease or any other periodontal problems so he can diagnose and treat them rapidly.
The American Academy of Periodontology “recommends an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation.” Once a year, Dr. Chung will examine: your teeth, your plaque, your gums, your bite, your bone structure, [and] your risk factors.
Why should you go to the trouble to have your gums assessed? There are a few key reasons:
It’s likely you may be suffering from periodontal conditions without realizing this is the case. The American Academy of Periodontology explains: “Recent research has indicated the prevalence of periodontal disease in the U.S. may be significantly higher than originally estimated.” It isn’t safe to assume that your gums are fine.
Gum tissue issues may be signs of more general health concerns. According to the American Academy of Periodontolgoy, “research has also shown, and experts agree, that there is an association between periodontal disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory diseases.” Catching gum disease could help you “ensure that your entire body stays healthy.”
Your periodontal health can have a major impact on your smile. Since your gums hold your teeth in place, you could end up losing your precious pearly whites to undiagnosed, untreated periodontal problems. Furthermore, unhealthy gums may make daily activities like eating, drinking, and speaking more uncomfortable or difficult.