Chapter 3 explains Why You Get Gum Disease
Gum Disease, also known as Periodontal Disease or Gingivitis isn’t a mysterious condition that strikes without warning.
The first signs of gum disease are easy to diagnose and, contrary to popular belief, often already originate in the teenage years. No matter how old you are, if your gums are swollen, dark red (darker than other gum areas) or bleed when you brush your teeth, you have gum disease.
In advanced stages, when the disease has progressed towards the root of the tooth the bleeding may stop but the teeth begin to move apart and the gums recede, eventually to the point where they can no longer support the teeth.
In a healthy mouth there are many types of bacteria that are usually free-floating and are not harmful. People often talk about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria yet it is not the bacteria themselves that are helpful or harmful but the balance between these bacteria that is important. Only when one type of bacteria increases in number do problems begin.
What is Plaque?
We call the sticky white substance that forms on teeth, between them and in the area between the teeth and gums ‘plaque’. Run a rubber-tipped instrument along the baseline of your teeth and you will easily see the white material.
How Plaque can cause Gum Disease
When plaque collects along the gumline, it can cause gingivitis. Healthy gums form an elastic seal around each tooth to keep plaque and bacteria away from the sensitive roots. Plaque toxins and enzymes attack healthy gums, eventually creating pockets as the gums loosen and pull away from the tooth.
Your teeth comprise less than ten percent of the total mouth area. By just brushing your teeth, ninety percent of your mouth will remain untouched!
Total mouth hygiene includes cleaning your teeth, gums, inner cheek, roof and floor of your mouth and your tongue. If all these areas are cleaned properly, twice a day gingivitis, periodontitis, tooth decay and bad breath will disappear in almost every instance.