Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, affected nearly 64.7 million Americans over the age of 30 in 2010. This rate has been growing and infects nearly 40 percent of the population. But do you know what gum disease really is or how it is treated? Let’s take a look!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is not the same for everyone. It can range from a simple gum inflammation to a serious disease resulting in major tissue, bone, and organ damage. Gum disease can usually be pinpointed to areas that are commonly missed while brushing your teeth.
When a spot in your mouth is ignored and the plaque isn’t removed from the teeth, a level of film builds up on your teeth and gums causing inflammation. This swelling is known as gingivitis and can be a warning signs of serious gum disease. But gingivitis isn’t the only thing you should look for when checking your teeth. Look for signs of redness, bleeding, receding gum lines, loose teeth, chronic bad breath, pain when chewing foods, sensitivity, and sores in your mouth. If inflammation is left untreated, it can cause gums and the supporting bone structure to deteriorate leading to gum recessions and tooth loss. If can also lead to other diseases like diabetes and heart disease if not treated property.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease can be prevented by adding more or improving the habits to your daily routine. Brushing your teeth after meals can help remove food and plaque that are trapped between your teeth and gums. Brushing your tongue can also help remove hidden bacteria. Flossing at least once a day can also help to remove food and plaque brushing can’t reach. Using mouthwash can also help remove hidden bacteria and prevent bad breath. Another way of preventing gum disease it to know your risk. Smoking, aging, diet, and genetics can all increase your risk of contracting gum disease. See your dentist if you fall into one of these categories.
Treatments for Gum Disease
There are several treatments options your dentist can use to help you. The first non-surgical option is to have your teeth professionally cleaned. This cleaning will remove all the plaque and hardened plaque called tartar built up around your teeth and gums. If you have signs of gum disease, you will need to have your teeth cleaned two or more times per year in order to remove the buildup. Scaling and root planing is another non-surgical treatment. Plaque and tartar need to be removed by being scraped away and the rough sports of your teeth will need to be smoothed over by planing. Smoothing the rough spots will help to remove places for bacteria to hide and provide a clean surface for the gums to reattach themselves. Surgical options include flap surgery, bone grafting, soft tissue grafts, guided tissue regeneration, and even bone surgery. Many of these surgeries will need to be performed when the tissue around the teeth are unhealthy and cannot be repaired without surgery. Talk with your dentist or periodontist about the best treatment options for you and your teeth.
Knowing your risk for gum disease is half the battle. For more information on your risks or to learn about treatments for gum disease, contact your Annapolis Dental Care dentist today!
Dental Care with Annapolis Dental Care
If you want to schedule your next visit, please contact Annapolis Family Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! We can give you more information, or schedule your appointment. Our diligent knowledge of all dental treatments and extensive experience in all fields of dentistry, ensure Annapolis Dental is best suited to care for your oral health. You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.