When it comes to dental hygiene, your teeth are only one part of the equation. We commonly forget to care for our gums, leading to long-term consequences if ignored. Maintaining healthy gums is crucial for your oral health and the quality of your smile. With improper care, the gum’s structural integrity weakens, leading to periodontitis, or gum disease.
During your initial oral examination, our dentist will look for signs of periodontal disease, which is an infection caused by plaque build-up along the gum line. This disease has several stages, and our dentist offers effective treatment options for each stage.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. When you visit us, we will look for signs of swollen, red gums that bleed easily. The best treatment for gingivitis is regular flossing and gentle brushing.
Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of periodontal disease. If you are diagnosed with this condition, you run the risk of gum damage and tooth loss. Trust us to help you repair the damage.
Dr. Lisa is committed to working hard to achieve a healthy, functional, and beautiful mouth for you at any stage of life!
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
As gum disease progresses, the infection destroys surrounding tissue and can even reach the jaw bone, resulting in bone loss, loose teeth, and bleeding gums. Patients suffering from the initial stages of periodontitis may experience the following symptoms:
- Tender, puffy, or swollen gums
- Sensitive gums that bleed during or after brushing
- Lingering mouth odor or unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Deep pocket formation between gums and teeth
- Receding gums, which cause teeth to be more exposed or appear longer than usual
- Purple, bright, or dull red gum color
- Painful chewing
During the final stages of periodontitis, bones and tissue within the mouth deteriorate, causing pain, tooth loss, and inability to chew properly.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Like most dental problems, such as cavities, improper oral hygiene is a common factor that can cause gum disease. When an individual skips out on brushing, bacteria from within the mouth gradually hardens into tartar or calculus under the gum and can only be removed by an experienced dentist or periodontist. With time, this causes gum inflammation and pocket development between teeth and gums, leading to infections.
Aside from plaque, chewing or smoking tobacco can also contribute to poor gum conditioning, inhibiting tissue growth and healing. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer, and hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause can also make one more susceptible to periodontitis.
How to Keep Your Gums Healthy
Regular dental exams and practicing optimal dental hygiene habits, such as brushing, flossing, and using medicated mouth rinses, are the best way to keep gums healthy and prevent tartar build-up. Quitting smoking or excessive drinking can also help your gums recover and heal more quickly.
With over 30 years of experience, you can trust our dentist to devise a treatment plan that will rehabilitate your teeth and gums. To get the most success, you should begin treatment immediately.
What is Periodontics Treatment, and Why Is It Important?
When you’re diagnosed with periodontal disease, it’s important that you get treatment right away. The effects of periodontal disease have serious consequences that range from infections at the gum line to gum tissue and bone loss. These dental problems can be reversed with the care of a qualified, experienced dental practice like ours.
We offer periodontics treatment that will restore your oral health quickly and efficiently. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Muff, will discuss the treatment options with you, which may include scaling and root planing. Scaling is a non-surgical procedure done with an ultrasonic tool or laser to gently remove plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth. Root planing is also non-invasive, and is done to remove bacteria and smooth the surfaces of the roots to stop further plaque buildup.
If you have a gum infection caused by periodontal disease, then we may prescribe an antibiotic for you. It’s important to stop any infection in your gums because it can easily spread and cause further damage to your teeth. Infections that are left untreated can enter and damage the jaw bone, and may even spread to the rest of your body.
Prevention is key! The American Academy of Periodontology recommends brushing twice a day, flossing at least daily, and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after brushing as ways to help prevent periodontal disease. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as not smoking and seeing your dentist regularly, are also great ways to stop or prevent the effects of gum disease.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment and to get on the right path to optimal oral health.