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For the hearing impaired:

Hello, this is Dr. Michaeangelo Aust and welcome to today’s bite-size bit. Today were going to talk about Gum Disease. So what is it? If you think about the gums in the mouth, I want you to think about it like a turtleneck around the tooth. There’s actually a portion of the tooth that has the gums that surround it, and it’s not attached.

We’ll draw in the level of the bone (the dotted line) Everything above the line would be the teeth in your mouth and then everything below would be the roots and the bone. On top of this is the skin. The skin scallops around the tooth. There’s an instrument that we use that’s on the other end of the explorer and it’s called the periodontal probe. Sometimes it a separate instrument. We go around and measure how deep that turtleneck around the tooth is. What happens is that, the bacteria in our mouth build up right at the gum line. That’s why as a dentist I always tell you to keep your tooth brush, half on the tooth, half on the gums. That way you’re sure to wipe away this area where all the scum in our mouth goes.

Think about if you’ve ever had a sliver in your finger it gets irritated and red and when you touch it, it actually hurts. The plaque in our mouth can double every month. So, what happens is that, as this scum begins to build up, it turns hard and hangs on to the tooth. The term is calculus. This build makes the gum literally melt away. Because the inflammation process is activated, it starts to hurt when you floss or brush your teeth. As the gum begins to melt away, the bone in your mouth can not be exposed to the oral environment. Then the bone starts to shrink away. Then, because the gums have melted away and that turtleneck has become bigger, even more of that scum in our mouth can build up. The cycle not only continues, but it gets worse. Actually until the point where the teeth can become loose like a fence post in the ground and simply fall out. If this is not treated, it’s guaranteed that you will lose your teeth.

This is important, because it’s the number 1 reason why adults in America today are missing a tooth. It’s extremely important that you get evaluated for gum disease and that’s one of the evaluations that we do at Modern Family Dentists. I hope you enjoyed today’s bit size bit. This is Dr. Michaelangelo Aust with Modern Family Dentists and I will see you soon.