How Healthy Are Your Gums? Part 2
Gum disease is a preventable condition in most cases. However; it needs to be diagnosed first. As it was mentioned in the previous posting; gum disease is relatively silent and may not cause any significant symptoms. Strangely enough; the most common symptom of gum disease mostly overlooked by many; and sometimes considered as “normal”; is bleeding gums.
Bleeding when brushing or spontaneously; is never normal. Imagine rubbing your skin or eye then discovering that this leads to some bleeding; would you consider this normal? Would you just overlook it, and consider it as “one of those things that happens from time to time”? Hardly.
Gum tissue is naturally tough; as it must resist the trauma of heat and cold; rough and tough foodstuff, brushing and many other stimuli. Gum bleeding is a sign of inflammation caused by bacteria present in the plaque that accumulates around the gum tissue, and not effectively removed by regular homecare.
The enzymes and toxins secreted by the plaque bacteria cause damage that starts the process of inflammation; which in turn changes the natural toughness of the gum tissue. As a result; and in response to the attack by plaque bacteria; the tiny blood vessels in the gum tissue start to open up to increase the flow of blood which contains the necessary defense cells. The gum tissue becomes swollen and bleeds easily and profusely to minor trauma e.g. brushing and chewing.
Surprisingly; many people; when experiencing bleeding gums; think that brushing lightly; brushing with a soft brush; or even not brushing at all would stop the bleeding! Indeed it may; but not because the cause of the bleeding has been eliminated; the plaque will still be there and the damage that it is causing would certainly continue.
Now; you may think that I am assuming that you do not brush your teeth! I never said that; in fact I know you do, may be once , twice or even more per day; however; this does not mean that you are “cleaning” all the plaque off. Most of us; including myself; when we were young; were given a toothbrush and toothpaste and were asked to brush twice a day; and that was it! No one showed us how to “clean” the plaque off; in fact no one showed us what the plaque looks like! Much like giving someone a hairbrush and asking them to brush their hair and make it tidy without a mirror in sight! And expecting a good job!
Most people brush; most people use toothpaste; most people use mouthwashes; but most people expect these things to do the job of cleaning the plaque off! The sad fact is..they won’t. It is you who can clean the plaque off and prevent gum disease from causing irreparable damage. If you do not have gum disease; you would most certainly not lose any teeth; and you would not spend a lot of money on your dental care.
In the next posting; I shall be summarizing the signs and symptoms of gum disease; and explaining how you could effectively clean the plaque off; improve your gum health; and prevent the incidence/recurrence of gum disease.