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Maintaining good health of the soft tissue (the gingiva) that surrounds your teeth and holds them in place is critical to good oral health and to your overall health as well.
Inflammation of the gum tissue (gingivitis – or gum disease) can result in an abnormal loss of bone that structurally supports and anchors the teeth. Gum disease is caused by toxins secreted by bacteria in "plaque" that accumulate over time along the gum line. This plaque is a mixture of food, saliva, and bacteria. Early symptoms of gum disease include gum bleeding without pain. Pain is a symptom of more advanced gum disease as the loss of bone around the teeth leads to the formation of gum pockets. Bacteria in these pockets cause gum infection, swelling, pain, and further bone destruction. Advanced gum disease can cause loss of otherwise healthy teeth.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontal disease - or periodontitis. Over time, untreated plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Plaque carries bacteria which produces toxins that irritate the gums. Untreated toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response causing the body to essentially turns on itself. Over time, the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums begin to separate from the teeth, pockets (spaces between teeth and gums) are formed and become infected. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive cycle has very mild symptoms and eventually results in loose teeth or teeth that must be removed.
The Smile Architects takes our patient’s overall health seriously. That’s why we partner with OraPharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company that’s dedicated to improving oral health.