Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal (gum) disease is a family of related chronic inflammatory diseases that are all bacterial infections. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among Americans and is the most prevalent disease in America, affecting more people than heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, and cancer combined. Gum disease is caused by bacteria which causes the sticky colorless substance known as plaque. Plaque that accumulates without proper removal irritates the gums and causes your gum tissues to break down, which can result in gum disease and tooth loss amongst other problems. There are three stages of gum disease and each is progressively more severe. These include: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Gum Disease Symptoms
If plaque is left to build without proper cleaning, gums become infected and the bone tends to recede. Teeth may become sensitive and may even be lost if the disease is permitted to escalate. In addition, the other signs of gum disease are:
- Bleeding gums during tooth brushing or otherwise
- Sensitive, red or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that are loose or appear to have shifted
- Gum disease is a serious disease that has been linked to increase the risk of major health problems, including but not limited to stroke, heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, diabetes complications, low birth weight, and most recently, dementia. This is why regular dental checkups are so important to the overall health of your body.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
If you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms of gum disease, it is important that you seek professional help immediately to prevent the disease from escalating. Dr. Sokolosky will inspect your teeth for bleeding gums, hard buildups of plaque and tartar above and below the gums, areas where your gums are pulling away or shrinking from your teeth, or pockets that have grown between your teeth and gums. In addition to these signs an x-ray may reveal bone damage and other problems unseen by the naked eye.
Gum Disease Treatment
Mild cases of gum disease may be treated by changing the way you perform at-home oral hygiene including proper brushing and flossing. In addition to good oral health habits, routine dental cleanings can significantly reduce your chance of gum disease. If you have a more serious case of gum disease, we will employ a method called root planing and scaling to remove the plaque and tartar buildup both above and below the gum line. The need for antibiotics may help rid the infection in your mouth. If you have a severe case of gum disease, you may need surgery.
To learn more about gum disease and periodontal treatment, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment 1-800-509-3941