Gum disease is essentially an infection of the gums and bone that support your teeth. It affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 35 in some form. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.
Just like a house, your gums and jawbone are the foundation that supports your teeth. When your support system becomes compromised, your teeth are at risk, and any restorative work you might need won't be very successful.
Gum disease occurs when bacteria enter in between your gums and teeth and cause an infection that gradually makes its way below the gum line and into your bone. This happens due to a poor diet and oral hygiene routine or habits like smoking or tobacco use.
If we detect in its early stages (gingivitis), gum disease can often be successfully managed with a thorough cleaning and an improved home care routine. In some cases, it can even be reversed.
If it advances to a later stage (periodontitis), it will require a more in-depth cleaning called scaling and root planing that removes plaque and tartar buildup underneath the gum line.
The good news is that Dr. Chen screens you for gum disease at every six-month checkup, so consistent preventive visits are your best defense against it. Contact our Castro Valley dental office today to learn more about gum disease.