Some leve of periodontal (gum) disease affects nearly 80% of adults over 30 in the United States. It has been called an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, many patients still aren’t aware of the number of people affected by this preventable disease. In order to prevent periodontal disease visit the Los Angeles, CA dental practice of Dr. Les Latner twice a year, brush twice a day, and floss at least once a day. If you are currently suffering from periodontal disease or believe you might be, call Westside Dental Associates to schedule an appointment today. Early treatment can help prevent more detrimental effects associated with gum disease including tooth sensitivity.
Gum Disease Causes & Symptoms
Our bodies are made up of numerous interconnected systems that work together to maintain health. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of bacteria beneath and around the gums. When sugary or starchy foods come in contact with the bacterial build up they become acidic. These acids are typically neutralized by basal nutrients from saliva, but when the amount of saliva produced is unable to neutralize the acids potential for tooth decay and gum disease increases.
When plaque and tartar build up below the gum line, the gums can become irritated or inflamed. This is a condition commonly referred to as gingivitis. When not treated by a dentist, gingivitis is difficult to get rid of because the buildup below the gums cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing alone. Eventually, the buildup of tartar can lead to periodontitis the more serious form of gum disease. The irritation and inflammation of gingivitis develop into pockets of infection that can destroy the fibers and bone that connect your teeth to the gums. Eventually, infection can lead to the recession of gum tissue which exposes the roots of teeth to damaging plaque and other debris.
Gum Disease & Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is not always caused by gum disease, but periodontitis leads to tooth sensitivity for several reasons. Gum disease and the related infection expose your tooth enamel to bacteria that can cause damage, gum recession that exposes the roots of teeth which contain sensitive nerves, and the pockets of infection can cause your teeth to loosen and shift.
Teeth exposed to the bacterial infection associated with gum disease for an extended period of time are more likely to decay. Decaying teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, become painful or uncomfortable while chewing, and may begin to ache constantly. Gum recession occurs when periodontitis breaks down the fibers connecting teeth and gums. When this happens, gums often shift upwards exposing more of the roots of teeth. These roots contain the sensitive nerves and increased or prolonged exposure causes tooth sensitivity especially to heat and cold. Finally, the breakdown of fibers that connect teeth and gums and connect your teeth to your jawbone allow teeth to shift within the socket. This shifting can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain when chewing.
Call to Schedule a Checkup and Cleaning with Your Dentist, Los Angeles
At every six month checkup, you will receive a thorough oral health examination that includes a screening for periodontal disease. As many of the early indicators of gum disease go unnoticed by those suffering from the disease, regular checkups are essential to early treatment. Our hygienists will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums removing plaque, tartar and calculus that can lead to gum disease over time. With regular checkups and thorough at-home care, gum disease is almost entirely preventable. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Latner and the Westside Dental Associates team today.