Hey, Gums, Where are You Going?

Many people seem to be under the impression that gum disease is a natural occurrence and should be considered inevitable. Granted, gum disease is common; around 80% of adults in America have some form of the chronic disease, and it remains the number one cause of adult tooth loss.  However, its prevalence among us does not mean that gum disease deserves to be tolerated. Every step should be taken to protect your oral health from the damages of gum disease. As you age, however, prevention can be more difficult. Gum recession, or the separation of gum tissue from your teeth, is a precursor to gum disease, but can also occur naturally through a lifetime of use. Austin dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, explains gum recession’s link to gum disease, and how to protect your mouth when your gums recede naturally.

Making Room for Mouth Germs

Typically, gum disease begins when oral bacteria in dental plaque release toxins that irritate and inflame your gum tissue, causing it to gradually separate from your teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day can help you control bacterial plaque. However, once your gums begin to separate, the resulting pockets that form can serve as excellent hiding spots for food debris and bacteria to gather safely and continue their destructive work. As bacteria grow within these pockets, the separation continues and gum disease worsens. Left untreated, the infection will destroy your gums, the connective tissue that holds them to your teeth, and your jawbone that supports your teeth’s roots.

Due Diligence as Your Gums Age

While gum disease is not natural, gum recession occurs even in a healthy mouth as it ages. To help prevent the formation of gum disease during this critical time, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss thoroughly at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Your dental checkup, which you should attend at least once every six months (or more often, if recommended), will allow Dr. Van Wicklen to inspect your gum tissue for signs of separation and/or gum disease. Early detection vastly improves your chances of treating or reversing gum disease before it irreversibly damages your teeth and gums. To learn more, contact your Austin dentist. 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.