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If you Don’t Know, you Might Have it.

March 7th, 2005

By Sal Roach

When you were a child you used your teeth to unscrew bottle caps and tear open bags. As you aged, what was once strong and powerful now is tender and apt to bleeding.

Have you really been taking care of the inside of your mouth over the years?

While many of use concentrate on keeping our teeth clean for cosmetic reasons, it is the gums that are often neglected to the point of needing costly and painful surgery. Ever heard of Periodontal Disease?

More commonly referred to as Pyorrhea, it is the leading cause of gum infections and losses of teeth as you move past your 40’s and into the second stage of your life.

Periodontal Disease occurs when your gums start to deteriorate, which leaves the bones of your teeth unprotected and subject to infection, rotting, and ultimately, complete loss. Unless apple sauce and yogurt look appealing to you, you need to step up right now and start taking preventative measures against this disease. Once infection sets in, it can be extremely difficult to reverse.

This erosion is started with the build up of plaque around your gums. If you don’t take care with proper brushing and flossing after eating or drinking anything, your saliva will actually press the plaque further into your teeth and gums.

Since your gums are basically made up of soft tissue, without proper care it is too easy for infection to set in. The gums have no natural immune system and are overly exposed to the elements.

The gum line is the most common place for tarter deposits to gather and turn into a wall of infection that can quickly lead to the deterioration of the gums and teeth. Although there are home dentistry kits sold in stores, the only way to properly remove tarter is through a professional cleaning by the dentist. Although the price may seem daunting, it is a wise investment to a life after fifty with a set of teeth that can chew without pain.

If you find your gums bleeding when you brush, this is because they are now exposed and sensitive, so the need for a professional cleaning is even more important. The likelihood is that you are suffering from gingivitis.

Most people, when they discover this bleeding, tend to over do it and engage in rough brushing campaigns that last for 10 minutes. You cannot make up for years of bad oral hygiene in one day. In fact, you may be irritating your gums even more by brushing too hard. Remember, soft circular strokes around the teeth and gums. Your goal is to stimulate and to move out tarter, food and plaque, not to blast everything away.

Although the bleeding occurs on the gums, the most significant damage is being done to the bone that supports the teeth. Once this bone becomes infected, the tooth will most assuredly be lost. Without regular visits to the dentist, the damage done to this bone is undetected because it takes place beneath the surface.

Although extremely destructive, with the right home care and yearly check ups with your dentist, the prevention of Periodontal Disease is quite simple.

Smokers are almost assured of developing this condition if they continue with their addiction because smoking decreases the immune systems capabilities, therefore making it all the more difficult to heal damaged gums, most of which is being done by the actually cigarette and the over 100 chemicals inside of it.

Sounds fun.

High levels of stress are also though the have an affect, as nighttime teeth grinding and neglecting bedtime brushes can erode your gums.

All of this can be prevented with a regimented brushing plan. You mom isn’t coming in to check if you brushed your teeth anymore, so make sure you take care of your choppers, or you better get used to Malt O Meal and soggy cereal.

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