It’s only natural for us to be constantly self-conscious and aware of the condition of our teeth, looking out for any signs of tooth decay or discoloration that could diminish the beauty of our pearly whites or worse, cause us to lose any of our permanent teeth. However, what many may not realize is oral health is not all about teeth alone. Tooth loss involves not just the teeth but how healthy or not our gums, which play a role in how well we can keep all our natural teeth intact.

When our gums develop gum inflammation or gingivitis from severe plaque build-up and it is left unattended to advance to gum disease or periodontitis, what transpires is the bacteria in the plaque goes from the tooth surface and reaches into the bone and soft tissue. When this happens, the surrounding tissue that holds the teeth in place gets destroyed and the teeth become loose and eventually have to be extracted.

Fortunately, before gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, there are symptoms that can call our attention early on so we could avert the more serious consequences. Gingivitis is marked by inflamed gums that easily bleed during routine tooth brushing. Even if the gums are clearly irritated, the disease has not yet spread to the bone and connective tissue and the teeth are still firmly planted into their respective sockets.

Since gum disease is practically painless, careful observation is needed to detect signs for gingivitis such as a bad taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath or if the gums have began to recede. A check-up and prophylaxis by the dentist can also determine the formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums that can cause the plaque to develop below the gum line.

At the Marineland Dental Care clinic in Washington, Kennewick dentist Dr. Walter Hadley offers a personalized periodontal disease prevention and treatment plan that even extends to at-home care and maintenance. Call 509-591-0515 for a consultation right away, to protect your teeth from gum disease and tooth loss.

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