Healthy gums are an essential ingredient of a youthful smile. Receding gums is often considered, incorrectly, as part of aging and has been described as “growing long in the tooth”. These imperfections become very apparent during laughing or smiling. This process occurs mainly as a result of gum disease and is the main cause of adult tooth loss.
The maintenance of healthy teeth and gums is important for speech, digestion and a confident smile. A healthy mouth is free from tooth decay and gum disease.
It is important to have regular check-ups so that any deterioration in your teeth or dental work can be spotted early and may save you expensive treatment later on.
Your mouth is the “window” to the rest of your body and oral changes may reflect what is happening elsewhere. Pre-cancerous lesions as well as gum disease can be diagnosed by the dentists.
The good news is:
- Gum disease can almost always be prevented,
- If it starts, it can be treated and
- It can even be turned around (or reversed) in its early stages.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease begins with bacterial plaque which forms on the teeth every day. It forms at the margin where the teeth and gums meet. If plaque is not removed daily by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar or calculus.
Tartar that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing then leads to gum infection. In the early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis and the gums may be red and bleed on brushing. As the disease continues and the bone that holds the teeth in place begins to breaks down the teeth loosen and fall out