Clinton Dentist Presents: The Gum Disease Quiz!

March 10th, 2014 | Blog | No comments

Clinton Dentist Presents: The Gum Disease Quiz!

floating-question-marksHow much do you know about the leading cause of adult tooth loss? Most people are familiar with gum disease and may even have dealt with it to some extent, but in spite of its widespread occurrence and disastrous results when left unchecked, many patients still underestimate the seriousness of the condition, or ignore the warning signs and miss the chance to prevent the disease from blossoming. To help increase your vigilance against one of the most destructive dental issues around, your Clinton dentist, Dr. Clark, quizzes your knowledge about gum disease and the forces responsible for it.

All About Gum Disease

1.) Like most dental health issues, gum disease is best dealt with when prevented. What is the typical originating cause of gum disease?

a. Sugar

b. Bacteria

c. Lingering toothpaste

2.) Which of the following are signs that gum disease may be developing?

a. Bleeding gums

b. Inflammation

c. Bad breath

d. All of the above

3.) Severe gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, but experts believe it may also exacerbate systemic health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of dementia.

a. True

b. False

Answers:

1.) Bacteria—The origins of gum disease lie in the excessive buildup of bacterial dental plaque. When this sticky film accumulates along your gum lines, the bacteria can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to recede from your teeth and lead to the bacterial infection known as gingivitis. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, as well as regular dental checkups and cleanings, can help you effectively control plaque buildup and the dental diseases it can lead to.

2.) All of the above—The bacterial infection called gingivitis can leave your gums red and swollen with inflammation, and the damage can make your gums bleed (especially when brushing your teeth). Not to mention, the excessive bacteria can also leave an unpleasant odor in your mouth that might not go away with a mint or stick of sugarless gum.

3.) True—Red, swollen gums are caused by the oral bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, which manipulates your immune system’s inflammatory response to harmful germs. When your gums or other oral tissues bleed, P. gingivalis can enter your bloodstream and excite inflammation in other areas of your body. Some studies suggest that P. gingivalisinfection is a suspected risk factor for other systemic inflammatory diseases, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

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