We, at Belmont Dental Care of Scottsdale, Az., have known for a long time that gingivitis and other gum infections are caused by bacteria which proliferate inside our mouths. But for many years, dentists like Dr. Mark J. Fleming were in the dark as to what bacterial species is specifically implicated in these gum diseases. According to the results of a study that was published in the Cell Host & Microbe journal, it is the Porphyromonas gingivalis bacterium that’s to blame for gum infections. The researchers were able to solve the mystery by making use of mice as test subjects. These microbes are found along the subgingival crevice,more commonly known as that space in between your gums and teeth.

Researchers further explain that in order for this pathogen to thrive in your gums without being detected and removed by the white blood cells (the body’s own natural protection from infection), it reprograms these immune cells so that the pathogen can live in your body, undetected. This way the pathogen is able to cause infection. This allows the P. gingivalis to increase in number without being targeted by leukocytes that patrol your body.

bacteriaGum infections top the list of chronic oral infections which affect human beings. However, there are a number of warning signs which could indicate that a person could be suffering from the early stages of gum infection. The primary sign would be the development of what dentists refer to as “pockets”. These pockets are found along the line where the teeth and gums meet. Tartar, a matrix where these harmful bacteria thrive, forms along these areas. Tartar is toxic to gum tissues, and what happens is that the tissues under these rock-like accumulations will be eaten away and gaps along these areas will develop. These gaps will eventually reveal the roots of teeth and pave way for more severe gum recession. Fortunately, we at Belmont Dental Care in Scottsdale, Az., can help treat this problem before it progresses to serious problems such as bone loss.

Gum infections usually start off with gingivitis, the mild inflammation of the gums. The common signs of gingivitis include swollen, red gums which are tender when touched. They also show the characteristic sign of bleeding even when your gums are only exposed to the lightest friction, such as when you are brushing your teeth. While gingivitis may not be that serious, if not treated, it can progress to the more serious second stage of gum disease, periodontitis. Currently, it is estimated that two of every ten Americans have signs of periodontitis. This gingival disease infects the deeper gum tissues and even bones that support your teeth. Because of that, it’s no wonder that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Contact Dr. Mark Fleming of Scottsdale, AZ, to find out how to protect your teeth and gums today.


Meet your dentist in Scottsdale, Dr. mark Flemming

photo credit: AJC1 via photopin cc

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