- August 22, 2016
“On three, everybody smile … 1, 2, 3!”
How many times have you had your photo taken? Probably thousands of times, and that was before the age of social media and “selfies.
When you smile for a photo, people often want to see your teeth. This makes for a more natural-looking smile (especially if it really is a natural smile).
Unfortunately, too many people neglect an essential part of their smiles — their gums. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that half of adults in the United States have some form of periodontitis, which is considered an advanced form of gum disease.
It’s also a form of gum disease that requires professional help to treat. If you live in or near Holly, MI, we hope you will give Holly Dental Care a call if you need assistance with this problem.
Our hope is that you will seek periodontal treatment before gum disease has the chance to ruin your smile. Nevertheless, we want you to be aware of the ways that periodontal disease can harm your smile.
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. At this stage, you may notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. (And in spite of some recent news reports, we continues to advocate flossing to remove food particles and plaque from spaces that you can’t clean with a toothbrush.)
If you don’t take steps to treat and reverse your gingivitis, then your infection can turn into periodontitis. One of those symptoms is bleeding gums, but at this stage, the bleeding is not limited to those times when you are brushing and flossing.
People with periodontitis may notice that their gums feel tender and sore, and that they can bleed just from eating certain foods.
This is not a pleasant sight for the person sitting across the table from you. If this is happening to you, then you really need to make an appointment with a dental professional to deal with the situation.
As periodontitis progresses, more things can and will happen to your gums. One of these things is gum recession.
If you understand how a receding hairline works, then you can understand receding gums. This is when your gums appear to be pulling back from your teeth.
This exposes the roots of your teeth, which are more vulnerable to infection than your crowns. One of the functions of your gums is to protect your roots. If your gums are pulling back from your teeth, then less of your roots are protected.
The crowns of your teeth are covered with enamel, which is the hardest substance on the human body. Your roots are covered with cementum. This is a hard substance, but it is more vulnerable to bacteria than enamel. A cavity on the root of a tooth is also not a good look for your smile.
Do we have to say more? Pus is not pleasant to look at especially if it is leaking from your gums or between your gums and your teeth.
Again, this is more likely to occur in the advanced stages of periodontal disease. We strongly hope that if you see this in the mirror that you will make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.
This also can explain one of the other symptoms of advanced gum disease.
Bad breath that won’t go away or a bad taste in your mouth may be signs that your have periodontal problems. This may not affect the appearance of your smile, but it may affect how many people want to be close enough to see it.
Loose & Lost Teeth
Many people do not realize that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. We don’t think we need to explain that losing teeth will affect your smile in a negative way.
The gum recession we mentioned earlier is one factor in your teeth feeling loose and falling out. In addition to protecting your roots, your gum tissue also helps to hold your teeth in place. As the gums separate more and more, your teeth can become looser and looser.
Another factor in this equation is that bacteria may start to attack the jawbone that holds your teeth in place. This combined with gum recession is an invitation for your teeth to become loose and fall out. (And the tooth fairy doesn’t want those teeth.)
Get Treatment To Treat Your Smile Right
We hope none of the things described above happen to you. At the same time, we hope you will recognize these symptoms so you will know to get treatment for your periodontal disease before it’s too late.