Gum Disease

Over 64 million American adults suffer from gum disease, and some might not even know they have it! Gum disease begins as gingivitis and can progress into periodontitis, becoming more serious the longer it’s left untreated.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is the result of harmful plaque left to build upon the teeth, causing the gum line to become inflamed. Gum disease has three stages including gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Signs of gum disease might include:

  • Gums that bleed from flossing or brushing
  • Tender or red gums
  • Receded gums
  • Separating or loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • A change in the way teeth fit together
  • Bad breath that does not go away

You Could be at Risk for Gum Disease if:

  • You have poor dental hygiene habits
  • You use tobacco products
  • You have a family history of gum disease
  • You are a teen, woman, or taking birth control
  • You use certain medications

What to Expect During Treatment

Your treatment for gum disease will depend on the type of gum disease you have and its severity. For gingivitis, a simple teeth cleaning could be enough to treat the problem.
For more severe gum disease, treatment might include a nonsurgical procedure called scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning to remove tartar and plaque even below the gum line as well as scrape away rough spots on the tooth root. This allows the gums to reattach to the clean surface of the tooth. Medications might also be used to fight any infection and manage pain.

If a regular cleaning or deep cleaning does not treat the gum disease, you might be referred to a periodontal disease specialist for further treatment.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Fortunately, you can help prevent gum disease from ever happening! By forming important oral hygiene habits, you can get rid of tartar and plaque before they cause any problems. Here are a few things you can do every day to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Avoid tobacco use
  • Eat a healthy diet

Along with these daily habits, it is important to see your dentist twice a year for a routine cleaning. We can remove any plaque buildup and prevent it from turning into gum disease! If you experience signs of gum disease or if it’s time for your routine cleaning, contact our office today.

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