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Gum Disease: 3 Out Of 4 Adults Have It

LeBlanc Gum Disease 1Every day, 24-hours a day, 500 or more unique types of gross germs are living in your mouth. When you add up 50,000 from one species and 100,000 from another species, it becomes clear why some dentists say that your mouth is home to more individual bacteria than there are people in New York City. And, just like New York City, they NEVER go to sleep. They only do two things: munch on food left in your teeth and make more bacteria.

In reality, there is one more thing the bacteria do and that’s what causes all the problems. They excrete waste product. That bacteria excrement is toxic to your teeth and gums.

Gum disease is a result of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria (plaque) contains chemicals that can damage the teeth and gums.

Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) is very common in adults and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Research shows that over 75% of Americans age 35 and over have some form of gum disease as a result of medications, diet or lack of adequate dental hygiene care.

Common symptoms of gum disease are:
  • Bleeding gums after brushing
  • Red or purple color to gums
  • Sores on the gums
  • Inflamed gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)

If you schedule regular cleanings and follow our hygienists’ advice on home care, it is possible to remove the plaque and prevent gum disease. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also very easy to turn around if treated early by Dr. LeBlanc.

Our hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that take off the plaque coating that regular brushing doesn’t reach. They also provide education and instruction on how to get the maximum benefit from brushing and flossing.

Gum disease is deceptively painless in the early stages, so you may not be aware that you have it. Couple that with the fact that gum disease is virtually impossible for the patient to self-diagnose and it becomes obvious why you need to see us on a regular basis. At every visit, Dr. LeBlanc and a hygienist will take depth measurements of the v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to identify whether you have gum disease.

Gum disease attacks just below the gum line in the sulcus, where it breaks down the connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket. Eventually, the pocket can become so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And that’s when they fall out.

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