Your dentist is one of the valuable members of your healthcare team. Even if you’re still in your twenties or thirties, the issues surrounding your oral health are a matter of importance. Those routine dental exams and cleanings aren’t performed to keep your smile looking good; their ultimate objective is to prevent oral bacteria from staging a takeover of your mouth.
Disease is a Progressive Journey
The fact that oral disease doesn’t occur overnight gives us reason to smile. Over decades, even centuries, of time, we have come to realize the interconnection between the mouth and the rest of the body. This is advantageous because, knowing that gum disease is a risk factor for heart disease, we can support two parts of the body at once. Also, recognizing that disease develops in stages, we are better able to stop the progress before irreparable damage is done.
When we’re looking at the mouth, it is gum disease that causes the most concern. Initially, gum disease is general inflammation of the gingiva around teeth. We refer to this early stage of gingivitis. It is when the gums are red and swollen with inflammation that we can halt progression. If care is not obtained at this point, the infection will develop. This is referred to as periodontitis. This condition involves gum separation from tooth structure and recession in general. The bacteria that move beneath the gums into the periodontal area eventually affect bone tissue. The advanced stage of gum disease poses a risk of tooth loss, as well as general health concerns.
For Optimal Oral Health, Be an Open Book
Dental care often seems to revolve around the teeth. It may seem unnecessary to fill your dentist in on the details of your life. However, there is value in being an open book. The more we know about your unique risk factors for gum disease, the better we can help you foster long-term oral health. Talk to your dentist about your:
- Family history.
- General health.
- Stress load.
- Lifestyle habits.
You don’t just want your smile to look good; you want it to last. For personal dental care, call our McLean office at 703-448-1020.