Gum disease is entirely preventable. In the vast majority of cases it is completely treatable. The primary cause of gum disease is plaque!
Plaque is a mixture of bacteria in a matrix of broken down food. Plaque accumulates just below the gum surface in a small crevice between the tooth and the gum where it causes gum disease. If plaque is allowed to remain in this crevice, the bacteria become more aggressive over time and eventually start to break down the attachment (periodontal ligament) which holds the tooth to the bone of the socket. This can result in bad breath, persistent infections and loose teeth which often need to be extracted.
If plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, if you eliminate plaque, then you surely you can eliminate gum disease?
Yes. However, plaque quickly builds up again on teeth after it has been removed. Older plaque, as well as being more aggressive, tends to become calcified causing calculus (tarter). Calculus is pretty tough and can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist.
[panel style=”panel-info”] [panel-header] Did you know?
[/panel-header] [panel-content] For the majority of patients, 6 monthly removal of calculus by their dentist or hygienist with good home care will eliminate the risk of problematic gum disease. Patients with existing gum disease may need 2 or more visits to get it under control with the aim of eliminating it completely.