Gum health is a very important part of oral health and a significant focus of an effective homecare regimen. But how much do you know about gum disease? Find out below as your Austin dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, challenges you to a quiz on gum disease.
Take the Quiz
- True or False: Gingivitis is only gum inflammation and does not require treatment.
- True or False: Gum disease can result in tooth loss.
- True or False: Gum disease increases other health risks.
Check Your Answers
- False. While gingivitis is gum inflammation, treating it is vital. If untreated, gingivitis may progress into periodontitis, a more damaging form of gum disease, because gingivitis inhibits the immune system’s response to the disease and tends to linger. The bacteria responsible for gingivitis prompt the body to produce an anti-inflammatory molecule called IL-10. However, this molecule interferes with the body’s bacteria-fighting T-cells, allowing the disease to hang around and worsen.
- True. Periodontitis, a form of gum disease that attacks the tissues and ligaments that support teeth, can result in tooth loss. As the tissues and ligaments are worn away, teeth loosen and shift in the mouth until finally they fall out. Periodontitis may also cause pockets to form between the gums and the teeth. These pockets are typically filled with damaging bacteria and must be cleaned by a professional because homecare is insufficient to keep them free of bacteria. Following a cleaning, the gums can reattach to the teeth.
- True. Gum disease has been correlated with certain cancers, diabetes, strokes, and heart disease. The correlation with heart disease is especially troubling because the bacteria present in gum disease are also present in heart disease, thus highlighting a tangible link between the two diseases.
Gum Disease Treatment from Your Austin Dentist
Have you developed gum disease? Contact your Austin dentist to discuss your treatment options today. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling 512-448-3131. Located in the 78704 area, we proudly serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities.