How Did I Get Gum Disease?

You’re pretty sure that you brush and floss your teeth every day, your teeth and gums don’t hurt, and as far as you know, you haven’t noticed any signs of an infection. So, hearing that you’ve developed gum disease and that your oral health is in dire trouble can be confusing, if not unsettling. “How did that happen?” may be one of the first questions you ask, the answer to which may be simpler than you think. All you have to do is review your hygiene and dental care habits.

How Well do You REALLY Brush Your Teeth?

Since you (hopefully) do it at least twice every day, you might sometimes brush and floss your teeth without paying much attention, relying more on muscle memory than concentration. Unfortunately, good hygiene isn’t the same as good housekeeping; you can’t spot-brush your teeth like you spot-mop the floor, and then call them clean. The plaque that sticks to your teeth contains a few significantly dangerous microbes that target your teeth and gum tissue. When you miss a spot of plaque, it can calcify into tartar, and your toothbrush and floss will become helpless against it. From the protection of tartar, bacteria can grow and multiply, increasing your risk of gum disease every day that they remain.

Quality Time with Your Dentist

Besides helping you rid your teeth of bacteria, Dr. Wright can also thoroughly clean the microbes along and just underneath your gum line during your dental checkup and cleaning. By visiting our office at least once every six months, you can keep oral bacteria in check by eliminating residual colonies hidden underneath formidable tartar. Dr. Wright will also look for signs of gingivitis and gum disease, and recommend a treatment plan to halt the infection, if necessary. You can look for signs of periodontal infection at home—the same signs that many patients make the mistake of ignoring–by carefully inspecting your gums while brushing and flossing your teeth.

Worse than You Thought?

As bacteria release toxins that attack your periodontal tissue, and others incite inflammation in your gums, the soft pink tissue surrounding your teeth can become red and swollen. They’ll often bleed, as well, usually when you brush and floss your teeth. In most cases, however, gum disease doesn’t cause discomfort until your gums have receded enough to expose your teeth’s roots. If gum disease begins around one of the molars in the back of your mouth, you might not notice the inflammation, or it may not seem so severe in the tissue that you can see. Because of the lack of pain in its early stages, some patients don’t realize their gums are in trouble until it’s too late to prevent gum disease.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

If you think you might have gingivitis or gum disease, or if it’s been a while since you attended your dental checkup and cleaning, then speak with Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.