Specialists like Joseph Hung , DMD, MMSc often see patients with varying degrees of gum disease and whilst there are treatments options available, prevention is definitely better than the cure.
The dangers of plaque
It is important to appreciate that when bacterial plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth and gums is more than just a threat to your dental health.
Looking after your oral hygiene is always a good idea anyway of course but it becomes even more of a priority when you discover that research is consistently linking bacteria and inflammation in your mouth to other health problems such as dementia and the risk of a heart attack.
Although no specific cause and effect has been established in the research to date, there is enough cause for concern to persuade you to consider your oral health as a priority.
Attacking your tooth enamel
It is constant battle as plaque is continuously forming on your teeth every time you eat or drink any food or beverages which contain sugars or starches.
What is so damaging about these types of food is that the bacteria from these sugary items is releasing acids that then start to attack your tooth enamel.
The plaque in your mouth is a very sticky substance and therefore does a very good job of keeping the acid in contact with your teeth, which means that it gets plenty of chance to break down the enamel and eventually cause tooth decay.
This is why regular brush and flossing is so important.
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and the symptoms include tender and swollen gums that can sometimes bleed.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress unchecked it can subsequently lead to periodontal disease, which is a more severe level of gum disease.
If you get severe periodontal gum disease, the gum tissue will start to pull away from your teeth and when this happens, the next stage is the bacteria is then given the opportunity to attempt to destroy the underlying bone that is supporting your teeth.
There are confirmed links between periodontal disease and a variety of related health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists believe that the oral bacteria finds its way into your bloodstream and starts to attack and injure your major organs.
Take positive action
The consequences of gum disease are certainly not pleasant and can even be dangerous to your health so it is far better to take a proactive approach to your oral hygiene and prevent a buildup of plaque.
Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and back that up with regular flossing to remove any debris that has got between your teeth. Also arrange to get your teeth cleaned professionally a couple of times a year by your dentist.
When you know what plaque and gum disease can do to your health, it makes sense to do what you can to avoid that happening in the first place.
Eve Morris has worked as a surgical dental assistant for 7 years. She takes an interest in the industry news and likes to share her knowledge and tips by writing for health related websites.