Wisdom Teeth - Generations Magazine - April-May 2013Periodontal or gum disease is an infection that affects the gums and bone. It starts with plaque, the sticky, colorless layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If not removed thoroughly each day, it hardens into tartar or calculus, which irritates the gums. Toxins from the bacteria also irritate gums, and may cause the gums to separate from the teeth. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease. If untreated, the bone level around the affected teeth may recede, resulting in loose teeth.

The goal of keeping your teeth for a lifetime ensures you are able to eat a variety of healthy foods, maintain good nutrition and enjoy the foods you love! Gum maintenance is the key.

The American Dental Association states gum disease is a major cause of adult tooth loss and affects about 75% of Americans. Gum disease is a “silent disease.” When you first feel pain it may be already too late to save your teeth. The warning signs include red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums, or persistent bad breath. Depending on the severity, treatment may include special rinses, extensive cleanings and surgery.

To prevent gum disease, routine dental exams and cleanings are highly recommended to keep your teeth and gums safe. Visit www.ada.org for proper techniques on brushing and flossing and more information.

Healthy gums and a strong bone foundation contributes positively to oral and overall health.

Wynn H. Okuda, DMD, Inc.

Cosmetic, Implant and Restorative Dentistry
3660 Waialae Ave., Suite 315, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96816

808-734-1099 | www.cosmeticdentistryhawaii.com