Gum disease and the more severe periodontal disease aren’t common in children. But they are very common in the adult population.
Clearly, the habits that are causing periodontal disease later in life are developed in childhood and young adulthood.
First, we’ll describe what gum disease is. Then we will discuss how gum disease is linked to chronic disease.
What do your gums do?
The soft tissue in your mouth, like skin, has an important job. It safeguards the roots of your teeth. It also provides a barrier for the connective tissues and ligaments that hold your teeth in their sockets. Plus the alveolar bone in which your teeth are anchored.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease starts with inflammation. Gums become swollen and tender. In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. As the disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. This is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.
What causes gingivitis?
Bacteria are always present in the oral cavity. When it is left on the teeth and gums, it turns into plaque. Plaque is a thick coating of bacteria on your gums and teeth. Plaque accumulates if it is not removed by rinsing, brushing, and flossing. If plaque multiplies in the pockets around the teeth, the gum will start pulling away. When plaque hardens, it is called tartar or calculus. You can’t brush away tartar with your toothbrush. You need to have a professional dental cleaning.
What are the signs of gum disease?
- Sore gums
- Bad breath
- Loose gums
- A change in the color of gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pain and tenderness
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Teeth that appear longer
- Growing spaces between teeth
- Changes in your bite
How does periodontal disease threaten your health?
Gum disease boosts your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Low infant birth weight
Can gingivitis be prevented?
Yes! Daily dental hygiene, twice-yearly professional cleanings, and a nutritious diet can keep gums healthy.
At La Costa Dental Excellence, we want to raise awareness of the importance of teaching kids how to keep teeth and gums healthy.
Contact La Costa Dental Excellence:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):