Gum Disease

Gum Disease

  • Pregnant women and gum disease
  • Stages of gum disease
  • Severe gum disease can instigate joint replacement infections
  • Gum disease is silent and deadly
  • Plaque – A visible dental problem
  • Undetected gum and bone disease
  • Gingivitis – Oral gum disease

Pregnant women and gum disease

Many mothers have experienced gum disease, dental pain and/or tooth extraction during or shortly after their pregnancy. This is often seen as being a “normal” side effect of being pregnant. However Dr. Cohen feels that dental disease, which is an infection of the teeth and/or gums, is not “normal” for any patient.

There are three basic events that happen during pregnancy which make the patient more susceptible to dental disease. First, hormonal changes may make the gums more susceptible to gum disease.

Second, pregnant women tend to eat smaller, more frequent meals, exposing their teeth and gums to sugars and acids more often. Third, cravings for “junk foods” and inadequate oral hygiene pose an increased threat to the teeth and gums.

Pregnant women in the Mission Viejo area are advised to schedule a dental evaluation and receivepreventive dental care at Daniel Jeffrey Cohen DDS. Personalized oral hygiene instruction by Dr. Cohen will be given to fight disease and promote overall good health for the mother and her baby.

Stages of gum disease

The American Dental Association says that over 75-80% of all adults, even in the Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Ladera Ranch area, have or will have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease, or more correctly called “periodontal disease”, is a bacterial infection in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can be divided into several categories.

The first stage is called “gingivitis” and is characterized by gum tissue that is red, puffy, and bleeds easily when touched with a toothbrush, floss or dental instrument.

The second, third, and fourth stages are initial, moderate, and advanced “periodontal disease”, respectively. These stages are different from gingivitis because the infection has destroyed the bone supporting the teeth, causing eventual tooth loss. At Daniel Jeffrey Cohen DDS the treatment is more involved at these stages, usually consisting of a special cleaning with anesthesia and sometimes gum surgery.

Severe gum disease can instigate joint replacement infections

Periodontal disease is a commonly occurring oral infection of the adult population (80% of adults are affected) destroying the bony support of the teeth. This infection slowly progresses over the lifetime of the patient and is often manifested in the advanced stage in the senior population.

Because of the lack of any discomfort to the patient until total loss of bony support to the teeth, many adults are unaware that they have this infection until they visit Daniel Jeffrey Cohen DDS. However, the bacteria from this bone destroying disease, especially in the more advanced cases, has been attributed to possible infection of joint replacements.

Candidates for joint replacements who have not been seen by Dr. Cohen in over a year should consider a thorough dental evaluation of their teeth and gums before surgery.

Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment of gum infections and tooth abscesses may take from two weeks to two months before the patient reaches adequate health before surgery.

Undetected gum and bone disease

Dr. Cohen feels that prevention is an overused word in our vocabulary but we all know it works. You see it in what you do every day. Who wouldn’t rather prevent a crisis than manage one?

In the Mission Viejo area awareness of gum and underlying bone disease is very low. Only 50% of the population visits a dentist on a regular basis. Of that 50%, 80% have some degree of gum and bone disease. It is an epidemic. Were this any other disease, we would be calling on the CDC for immediate action!

Gingivitis – Oral gum disease

Gingivitis is the most common periodontal disease, affecting 90% of the population, including our local Mission Viejo area community. It is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria that form plaque.

In small amounts (when it is newly formed), plaque is invisible and relatively harmless. But when left to accumulate, it increases in volume and the proportion of harmful bacteria grows.

These bacteria release toxins that result in inflammation of the gum tissue. Eventually, the plaque hardens and forms hard deposits called calculus or tartar.

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