Did you know dentists evaluate not only teeth but also gums? Your gums play an integral role in your overall oral health. The medical term for gums is gingiva and it refers to all the soft tissues on your upper and lower jaw that surround the base of teeth. A healthy gingiva is typically pinkish and, in some people, it may have tinges of brown. Gums should not be swollen, red or bleeding. If this is the case you may need to adjust your oral health routine and visit your dentist soon, as there are many serious problems associated with unhealthy gums. Here are three reasons why you should make them a priority too.
- There is a chronic disease associated to gum disease called periodontitis. This is a condition that affects the gums in which plaque accumulates and hardens beneath it. Apart from the gum inflammation and bleeding, the bone surrounding the tooth shrinks and the gum recedes, exposing the root of your teeth. Now, having exposed roots is not reversible, they make your teeth look unhealthy, and make you prone to getting cavities. The latter is because roots are not designed to be exposed and do not have the protection of enamel, so bacteria can easily wear away the tooth structure.
- Periodontitis can make your teeth loose. In addition to all the symptoms of the disease, the bone shrinkage makes your teeth lose their retention. With time, the teeth become loose and when the bone loss is severe, they come out on their own. Loose teeth are uncomfortable to live with and often result in teeth extraction. Other treatments available to treat advanced periodontitis is periodontal surgeries and bone grafts. The former consists in creating a flap on your gum in order to expose the bone and the surgeon performs a scaling from bone level. The bone grafts will also attempt to restore the bone level lost.
- You can lose several or all your teeth due to periodontitis. As mentioned before, periodontitis causes bone loss, which can be localized or generalized. When the disease is localized it affects one quadrant or just a few teeth in it. When it affects one full arch or both, it is considered generalized. In both cases tooth loss is common. Untreated periodontitis can cause a full mouth extraction, which will bring several other considerations like wearing dentures or getting dental implants.
Periodontal disease is a lifelong commitment. Patients suffering this condition will be recommended to visit their dentist for professional cleanings more often than the rest of patients. It may also become a controlled condition that may bounce back over time. Cleaning routines are also more thorough for these patients. However, the effects of the condition can be stopped if attention is sought promptly. In dentistry, prevention is everything. Nonetheless, if you find yourself needing an extensive restoration plan, the Costa Rica Dental Team is here to help you. We are located in San Jose, Costa Rica and we offer extensive dental work at a fraction of the cost for equivalent treatments in the United States and Canada. We have more than 10 years’ experience helping patients from all over the world get the dental work they need and the attention they deserve. Contact us now to find out all the benefits from visiting the Costa Rica Dental Team.