With all the attention you pay to your teeth, you might expect to notice if something is wrong with your dental health. If your teeth don’t hurt, and they still retain their pearly-white, blemish-free appearance, then you could assume they were in excellent health. Unfortunately, that assumption may be wrong, especially if you miss the signs of gum disease. As the seal that protects your teeth roots from irritants and infections, your gums are vital to maintaining a healthy smile, and when they’re diseased, your teeth might not give you ample warning.
What’s The Worst That Can Happen?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, describes an infection that occurs when bacteria (in the form of dental plaque) overwhelm your teeth and gums. The microbes can work their way underneath your gum line, releasing toxins that cause the tissues to separate from your teeth. Even if you practice excellent hygiene at home and visit your dentist regularly for routine checkups and cleanings, your gums may begin to recede from vigorous brushing and flossing, grinding your teeth (bruxism), or from changes within your body as you age. Regardless of how it happens, gum separation and the accumulation of bacteria along your teeth’s roots can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and possible health complications if the issue isn’t treated promptly.
A Little Bleeding Isn’t Harmless
By the time gum disease or recession causes your teeth to ache, your periodontal tissue has likely already receded enough to expose your teeth’s vulnerable roots. Even in the absence of tooth sensitivity, however, your gums may warn you when they’re troubled. If you notice blood in your saliva when you brush your teeth, or when you bite down especially hard, then gingivitis (the infection that leads to gum disease) may already be a factor. Attending a checkup and cleaning at least once every six months can also reduce the risk of gum disease developing unnoticed.
ABOUT YOUR CERRITOS ORAL SURGEON:
Shawn Hofkes, DDS, is highly qualified to address complex issues, including the diagnosis and treatment of destructive gum disease. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.