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February 23 2011

Timely Periodontal Treatment by a Dentist Can Save Your Beautiful Teeth

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Any adult who has ever undergone the extraction of a tooth knows the sense of loss that comes with the procedure. This is especially true when the tooth must be extracted due to gum disease. The most disheartening aspect of this type of tooth loss, however, is that it can almost always be prevented by routine dental exams, and if needed, timely periodontal treatment by a dental professional.

Periodontitis is the result of untreated gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar just below the gum line. Although it may cause bleeding and soreness of the gums, gingivitis is considered a mild disease that is easily cured by proper brushing, flossing and regular professional teeth cleaning.

Periodontitis, however, causes the gums to pull back and form pockets where bacteria thrive and attack the area below the gum line. This, in turn, causes destruction of the connective tissue that anchors the teeth, resulting in the loss of tooth support, which can culminate in the eventual loss of one or more teeth.

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One of the more disconcerting aspects of gum disease is its insidious nature; one may have it for years without knowing of its existence until it becomes acute, seemingly overnight.

There are many reasons for regular dental check-ups, but keeping periodontal disease at bay is high on the list. A twice a year tooth cleaning by a competent hygienist or dentist is one of the best and simplest ways to prevent more aggressive treatment, and is certainly less time-consuming and far less costly than treating periodontal disease. While a regularly scheduled cleaning will usually be billed at less than a hundred dollars, extensive repair, removal or replacement can run into the thousands, so even if the idea of visiting your dentist may be a bit off-putting, spending major cash on your mouth can cause real trauma to both your psyche and your wallet.

Most people spend more time grooming their hair than looking after their teeth, ignoring the importance of good oral health habits. It isn’t until they’re faced with the realities of extractions, implants or dentures that they regret not having taken better care of their teeth. Needless to say, everyone requires daily brushing and flossing, but since every mouth is different, the best plan of action for anyone is a comprehensive check-up by a dentist who can then recommend the most effective day-to-day care. Gum disease is preventable, but when it does occur, it should not be taken lightly. Maintaining a regimen of regular visits to your dentist is the best way to ensure healthy gums and a gap-free smile for a lifetime.

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