Trusted practice in Woburn, MA stresses the importance of treatment for periodontal disease
Gums are easy to take for granted – until your smile or your health is at risk. Dr. George Moutevelis and his team at Four Corners Dental Care urge everyone in the Woburn, MA area to understand signs of periodontal disease, take preventive measures, and seek treatment immediately if symptoms exist.
Are your gums healthy?
“Gums” is common terminology for “gingiva.” This mucosal tissue covers the upper and lower jaw bones. Its purpose is to provide a tight bond to the underlying bone that keeps bits of food out and it acts as a barrier, protecting deeper tissues from injury and pathogens.
Healthy gums are usually described as coral pink, although the color varies depending on genetics. Marginal gum tissue forms a smooth scallop shape over each tooth.
Gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, is rarely painful, but there are symptoms. Be on the lookout for:
- Discoloration – Do gums look red or have purplish blotches?
- Pink or brown stains on your pillowcase – Most of us occasionally drool a little in our sleep, but that saliva should not contain blood.
- Blood on toothbrush or floss – When gum tissue is diseased, it bleeds more easily during routine hygiene. This is NOT a sign that you should stop brushing and flossing.
- Chronic halitosis – Bad breath persists even when home hygiene is improved and overpowers chewing gum or mints.
Without treatment, gum disease progresses to periodontitis. At this advanced stage, you may notice sores or pus at the gumline. Teeth feel mobile when pushed or wiggled and may hurt when you chew. Bite (how upper and lower teeth fit together) changes, too. As the condition of gum tissue worsens, teeth get loose and require extraction . . . if they don’t fall out on their own.
Dr. Moutevelis and his team at Four Corners Dental Care to help solve dental related issues.
More than your smile is in jeopardy
As if losing your teeth isn’t bad enough, untreated gum disease can have a serious impact on your health.
There are hundreds of strains of bacteria in your mouth, and some are beneficial. Others such as Streptococcus mutans are the primary culprits of gum disease. As gums become inflamed, they lose their seal to teeth. Resulting periodontal pockets allow pathogens to penetrate deeper. They also enter the bloodstream through lesions, by being swallowed into the digestive tract, and aspirated into lungs.
The body’s immune system reacts to this threat with systemic inflammation that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke). Changes in blood vessels also make it more difficult to regulate blood sugar, increasing susceptibility to diabetes. If you are already diabetic, gum disease makes it tougher to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Bacteria associated with gum disease are linked to asthma and other respiratory problems, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. A pregnant woman with gum disease is more likely to have a premature or low birth weight baby than her counterpart with a healthy mouth.
Why not avoid these problems?
It is never too late to get your mouth into better shape, and the team at Four Corners Dental Care is eager to help. We are even happier to help you avoid the embarrassment, discomfort, and perils of periodontal disease, with tips for good gum health:
- Each time you brush and floss, you knock down bacterial population in your mouth. Oral hygiene also removes the food source – sugars and carbohydrates – that bacteria require to flourish. Avoid harming gum tissue by cleaning teeth with a light touch and a soft toothbrush.
- A diet low in acids and sugars and high in fiber builds good defenses against gum disease.
- Frequent swallowing helps to flush pathogens from the mouth. Do it with fresh, pure water, rather than acid or sweet beverages.
- Some experts say that 100 percent of smokers have some degree of gum disease. Ask our doctors for advice on quitting.
- Patients without signs of gum disease (or other oral problems) should have a professional cleaning and examination twice a year. Your appointments might be more frequent if you are managing periodontal disease.
- The most important thing you can do for your smile and your health is to promptly get treatment for gum disease.
Are you wondering where to find qualified periodontal disease treatment in Woburn, MA? Four Corners Dental Care has an in-house periodontist! Dr. John Govostes is Board-certified in periodontics, and he is a diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology. Call (781) 315-4456 to schedule an appointment.