Your teeth and gums are not helpless in the face of infection and disease. Saliva, tooth enamel, and your immune system are all natural defense mechanisms against a diseased smile, but they are not enough to stave off today’s increased number of dental risk factors, and your smile needs your help to remain bright and disease free. In some cases, like those that lead up to gum disease, harmful bacteria can even bypass your natural defenses to survive and sacrifice your oral health in the process. Polk City dentist, Dr. Hussong, helps protect your smile by extending a warning to your tender gum tissue.
With Friends Like These…
You can’t see the germs in your mouth, although there are about 10-15 billion of them on a good day. When they congregate, however, you can typically see and feel the sticky biofilm that these bacteria form to protect themselves; this film is called plaque, and it has a tendency to coat your teeth when you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while. Plaque lets oral bacteria cozy up to your teeth and gums by sticking to them, and when enough of it accumulates along your gum line, the microbes can irritate your gums and cause them to pull away. Your immune system’s inflammatory response was designed to eliminate such pathogens, but one germ in particular, Porphyromonas gingivalis, can manipulate this response to avoid it and survive. Inflammation, often accompanied by bleeding, typically means your gums are afflicted with gingivitis, which means full-fledged gum disease is close on its heels.
Don’t Be a Gum Disease Statistic
So how serious of a problem is gum disease? Brushing, flossing, and attending your six-month dental checkup are designed to fight the onset of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health troubles, yet nearly 80% of the adult population in the United States of America has gum disease to some extent (from gingivitis to severe periodontitis). Luckily, gum disease is preventable with effective oral hygiene and adequate periodontal maintenance. If you’d like to learn more, or if you believe you may be at risk for gum disease, schedule an appointment with your Polk City dentist by calling Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001. Located in the 50226 area, we proudly welcome families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.