Do you floss your teeth, ever? Do you brush your teeth every day? Most patients will nod their head yes, but in reality people brush their teeth on average every other day and floss their teeth once a week.
For most, this seems like a grand accomplishment, but there’s something you need to know about the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria are always growing, spreading, and colonizing. We understand that may seem a little gross, but it’s the truth.
For this reason, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth every single day. If you don’t, you could develop gum disease, an oral condition that causes inflammation of the gums, plaque build up on the teeth, and, in some cases, bleeding of the gums.
In this post, we’re going to share some information on gum disease and how not taking care of your oral health is a huge risk.
The Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease
Plaque builds up on your teeth due to eating, drinking, and enjoying life. It’s a byproduct of using your mouth. Bacteria in your mouth swarm the sugars and starches that are left behind from your foods and drinks between your teeth. As those bacteria feed, they develop a soft protective layer over themselves called plaque. The bacteria in your mouth are anaerobic, which means they cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. This is why plaque forms.
If plaque is left untreated, tartar will form, a hardened layer in-between and at the base of your teeth. At this point, patients tend to experience inflammation of the gums or bleeding of the gums. In some cases, sensitive gums inflame or bleed with even the smallest buildup of plaque. Other symptoms can include bad breath, painful chewing, and sensitive teeth.
The dangers of leaving gum disease untreated could lead to the following:
- Periodontal Disease
- Tooth Loss
- Heart Disease
What Are The Health Risks of Gum Disease?
The health of your mouth could affect the health of your entire body. This is called systemic health. Whatever is going on in your mouth could be influencing what’s going on with the rest of your body. As much as we love our own mouths, they are filled with bacteria — and for good reason. The bacteria in our mouth help us survive, but they can also cause health issues if left unchecked.
What Happens When Gum Disease Goes Untreated?
The biggest concern for those who leave gum disease untreated is tooth loss. Inflamed, bleeding gums begin to break down to due to the tartar buildup and the slowly growing infection in your mouth. Infection tends to occur below the surface, as deep as the root of your tooth. This means that, eventually, gum disease can cause tooth loss.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
It’s relatively simple to prevent gum disease, but it’s not easy. Depending on your stage of gum disease, your dentist may prescribe more frequent brushing, a flossing regimen, and some special toothpaste. However, you may need more substantial dental treatment to reverse the infection in your mouth. It’s best to schedule an appointment with your Boulder dentist to discover what you need to keep your mouth and your body healthy.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent gum disease from developing in your own mouth:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled brush
- Floss at least once a day, focusing on getting food and plaque out from between your teeth
- Visit your dentist in Boulder at least twice a year
- Quit smoking
Gum Disease Stages
The stages of gum disease are fairly straightforward:
- Advanced Periodontitis
How To Treat Periodontitis
Generally, your dentist in Boulder will complete a thorough oral exam to better understand your oral health. Once this exam is complete, your dentist will determine if you have periodontitis. If your gums and teeth show signs of any stage of periodontitis, you may be prescribed for one of the following:
- Root planing
- Flap surgery
- Soft tissue grafts
- Bone grafting
- Guided tissue regeneration
- Tissue stimulating proteins