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Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

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Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires…and Periodontitis

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires…and Periodontitis

periodontal treatmentWhile Smokey the Bear is constantly touting the benefits of preventing forest fires, who’s going around and doing the same for gum disease? Pinky the Gum? Uh, no.

Well, maybe they should because while your gums look all pink and wimpy, they are actually pretty tough. Remember, their job, after all, is to be the bodyguard for the roots of your teeth.

But prevention is key with these pink customers. Treat your gums well and do the required home dental care and they will take care of your teeth. Neglect them at your own peril!

Periodontal disease is the medical term for gum disease. It involves infection of the gums that can end up with tooth loss and an appearance on the Hee Haw Reunion Show.

But gum disease is preventable. It begins with dental plaque, which is the sticky film that forms on your teeth throughout the day. Plaque has lots of bacteria in it. Dental plaque is easy to remove simply by daily brushing and flossing. In fact, a good home dental hygiene program of brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing once a day is usually enough for most people to never have to deal with gum disease. They can make Pinky the Gum happy.

But if you’re lazy with your home hygiene, along with other factors such a smoking, can allow plaque to have its way with your mouth. When plaque isn’t removed it hardens into calculus, also known as tartar. Tartar can only be removed by Dr. Egger or another dentist.

Gingivitis first. Periodontitis later.

Like signs that hit you when you’re contemplating marrying an axe murderer, the first signs of problems here are gum irritation. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums. Irritated gums are not happy gums, and they become red and bleed easily. Plus, the tartar that has formed gradually makes its way below the gumline, leading to more irritation. This irritation is called gingivitis.

Even though you’ve let things go, at this point you can reverse the trend with a professional cleaning and more diligent home care. But if you don’t opt for this route, the gum irritation worsens and the gums begin to pull away from the teeth causing pockets for form. These pockets hold all the bacteria from the plaque and that bacteria begin to attack the roots of the teeth. You can see where this is leading — tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.

Now, a trip to Dr. Egger will be necessary just to keep your teeth. He’ll need to do things such as gum planing and scaling. He may need to prescribe some antibiotics if infection has taken hold. A root canal could be required to save a tooth or teeth.

And to think, all of this could have been prevented with simple brushing and flossing at home, combined with twice-yearly visits to Dr. Egger for professional cleaning and exams. Call us at 989-773-3560 to book your appointment.