So – I am an orthodontist.
Why do I spend so much of my working day talking about gums and plaque and tooth brushing and flossing and gum disease and periodontal issues?
Because if you do not keep your teeth and braces clean when you are wearing braces, you get decalcification – permanent marks on your teeth.
You also get gum disease.
Gum disease is BAD.
It is bad for your gums, which swell, get red and inflamed and ultimately recede if the gum disease goes on too long.
It is bad for the bone that is there to keep your teeth solidly in place. Gum disease, when left untreated, will cause the bone to disappear from around your teeth. This makes the teeth less stable, and eventually, when so much bone is lost that the roots of the teeth are no longer sufficiently covered in bone, the teeth will get loose.
But here is the big issue – GUM DISEASE CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE REST OF YOUR BODY!!
We know that having long term, chronic, gum disease increases your chances of getting the following conditions (this list is very far from comprehensive)
Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, low birth weight infants, kidney problems, respiratory disease.
So that is why I nag (yes, I admit it, I nag) my patients about tooth brushing and gum disease – because it is important.