Advanced periodontal disease is a reality for roughly half of Americans. This aggressive form of gum disease contributes to bad breath, teeth sensitivity, a receding gum line, and infection that can spread beyond the gum tissue.
But the good news is, gum disease doesn’t have to be a reality for you. Bell Dental Group can help you detect the earliest signs of gum disease and eradicate infection with non-surgical gum disease treatments. And for more complicated cases, such as severe gum line recession, we can in many cases repair the damage in-house.
And though we’re tough on gum disease, we take great care to keep you comfortable throughout the course of treatment.
February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, so we wanted to take some time and provide some information about caring for the foundation of your smile! Check it out. Then, prioritize your gum health this month! Call us at 513-802-9440 to schedule an appointment.
The Signs Of Gum Disease
The earliest signs of gum disease can be relatively inconspicuous, particularly when you’re not actively looking for them. This is why advanced periodontal disease — which can only be managed, not cured — is so common. People don’t realize that they have gum disease until it has caused considerable damage. This is also why regular dental checkups are so important! They provide an opportunity for hygienists to identify early signs of gum disease and intervene in a timely manner.
Gum disease is an infection of your gum tissue. It’s very similar to tooth decay, which is caused by bacteria that feed on leftover food particles in your mouth. When the bacteria consume the sugary debris, they release a weak acid. This acid weakens tooth enamel, but it also irritates your gums.
The signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Loose or shifting teeth
How We Stop Infection
No matter how severe your damage from gum disease, the first step toward improved health is eradicating the infection. The most basic way to do this is with a procedure called scaling and root planing, where we thoroughly numb the affected area and remove bacterial buildup from below the gum line.
We can also utilize the precision and gentleness of dental lasers to perform an even more thorough cleaning.
To get the most out of these procedures, we might pair them with an antibiotic regimen such as PerioProtect®. This product resembles an athletic mouthguard that comfortably delivers medication into periodontal pockets. You simply apply medicated gel to the tray and insert it into your mouth. The appliance forms a seal around your teeth, which ensures that the medication is delivered where it’s needed most.
What’s At Stake
Unmanaged, gum disease can cause harm beyond the gum line, compromising the health of your teeth. That’s because gum recession can expose the roots of teeth, leaving them susceptible to decay. This can cause infection of the nerves within the teeth that in a worst-case scenario could require extraction.
Some studies also suggest that gum disease is linked to an increased risk of serious health complications, such as heart disease and stroke. Some scientists believe this is due to the fact that the same bacteria responsible for gum disease can spread to the heart.
Gum disease can also make it more difficult for those with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.
Preventing Gum Disease
Of course, it’s best to prevent gum disease whenever possible. And one of the easiest ways to do this is by incorporating flossing once a day into your normal self-care routine. Food particles that get stuck between your teeth attract bacteria, so thoroughly removing the debris reduces the likelihood of buildup.
If you’re not crazy about using dental floss, consider another interdental cleaner. To be safe, make sure you’re choosing one that has earned the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. They’ve given the seal to wooden plaque removers, as well as water flossers. It’s also a good idea to check in with your dentist if you’re using an alternative to traditional dental floss.
Speaking of which, it’s also important to commit to routine checkups! Your dentist and hygienists are there to catch gum disease early and take action. They’ll also remove plaque that has built up since your last appointment.
So, if it has been a while since you’ve had a dental exam and cleaning, consider visiting Bell Dental Group! Our team is passionate about helping our patients realize the healthiest smile possible. Call us at 513-802-9440 to schedule an appointment, or use our convenient online form.