The vast majority of North Americans- some estimates say up to 80%- develop periodontal disease during their lifetime, either early-stage gum disease called gingivitis or a more serious infection called periodontitis. Both are caused by bacteria buildup. The accumulation forms a sticky colorless plaque on our teeth, and if it’s not brushed and flossed away every day, it hardens and forms into tartar, a dark yellow unattractive crust which can only be removed by a professional dental hygienist.
If not removed, the bacteria initially causes gum inflammation, reddening and bleeding when brushing and flossing. If not treated, gums become swollen and angry-looking, and the infection begins to destroy the supporting tissues surrounding your teeth with potentially severe consequences such as tooth loss.
Dental science has proven that there is a direct link between gum disease and your overall health, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers and complicating the treatment of diabetes.
Follow these simple rules to keep gum disease at bay…
Brush and rinse thoroughly after every meal.
Floss at least once a day.
Keep regularly scheduled hygiene appointments.
Minimize or eliminate snacks, sticky candies, soda, and sports drinks.
Follow preventive and restorative treatments prescribed specifically for you.