Did you know that gum disease increases your risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers? It also puts your mouth in a perilous situation and is very capable of causing large-scale tooth loss. But what can you do to prevent gum disease? The answer, as it turns out, can be very simple. In addition to thorough homecare, attending a dental cleaning can seriously help with gum disease prevention. To learn more, read the explanation from your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, below.
The Source of Gum Disease
Bacteria are ultimately responsible for causing gum disease. When they travel below the surface of the gums, they can create an inflammation known as gingivitis. Unfortunately, gingivitis has a nasty habit of sticking around by inhibiting the body’s immune response toward it. The bacteria responsible for gingivitis trigger the body to produce an anti-inflammatory molecule called IL-10, which inhibits the body’s bacteria-fighting T-cells from attacking the harmful bacteria. With the immune response compromised, gingivitis can linger and eventually progress into periodontitis, a more damaging type of gum disease, which attacks teeth at their structural supports. As these tissues and ligaments decay, teeth may loosen, causing them to shift or fall out.
Dental Cleanings and Gum Disease
Because gum disease is caused by bacteria, dental cleanings are a very useful ally against it. During a dental cleaning, a hygienist can scrape bacteria-ridden plaque and tartar from teeth. By removing these bacteria, the mouth is at a lower risk of developing gum disease and is likely to remain healthy with the proper care.
Schedule a Visit with Your Des Moines IA Dentist
Are you past due for a dental cleaning? If more than six months have passed since your last one, it’s time to schedule another. Contact your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Johnson, today to schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling our 50266 dentist office at 515-223-9764. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.