You probably know that brushing and flossing your teeth helps you prevent tooth decay, but do you know the best methods for preventing gum disease? Actually, brushing and flossing is your main defense against that, too, but the mechanisms behind gum disease, or periodontal disease, are different than those of tooth decay, and knowing the difference is important to preserving your smile’s foundation. For instance, while a toothache can tell you when decay has a hold of your tooth, there are other signs you should be wary of that tell you when gum disease becomes a threat. To help stay vigilant against the attack on your gums, take our brief quiz below, provided by your Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, and beef up your knowledge about periodontal disease.
The Periodontal Disease True/False Quiz!
1.) Periodontal disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America.
True—Unlike tooth decay, which directly attacks your teeth, periodontal disease attacks the gingival tissue and jawbone structure that support your teeth. Left unchecked, the disease takes away your mouth’s ability to retain your natural teeth, resulting in varying degrees of tooth loss.
2.) Prevention is preferable, but as long as you cure periodontal disease before it causes tooth loss, your smile will be saved.
False—The reason prevention is the best medicine for dental health issues, especially periodontal disease, is because dental diseases are progressive. If caught in its infant stage, gingivitis, then the bacterial infection that causes periodontal disease can be reversed. However, once it advances, periodontal therapy can only control the disease, not cure it, and any damage your oral tissues have incurred must be treated (i.e., reattaching periodontal tissues and ligaments that have separated during gum recession).
3.) Bleeding gums are natural on occasion when brushing your teeth, but if they hurt, then gingivitis may be present.
False—Bleeding gums are never normal or natural, and gingivitis rarely causes physical discomfort. When plaque accumulates along your gum line, the germs that comprise it release toxins that irritate your gums, causing them to separate from your teeth. The pockets formed can house more bacteria, which continues the cycle and prepares the way for gum disease. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are the typical signs of gingivitis, though sensitivity and discomfort do not usually occur until severe periodontal disease exposes your teeth’s roots.
Great Gum Health & More with Your Encinitas Periodontist
To learn more about preventing and treating periodontal disease, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontist’s office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.