Though people seldom consider it a problem, gum disease can compromise your oral health. This chronic infection usually begins with poor oral health, but it can result from hormone changes or taking certain medications. Gum disease increases the risk for strokes, heart attacks, and pregnancy complications as well as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and respiratory conditions. It is estimated that up to 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease causes 70% of adult tooth loss, so it’s important to avoid and treat this condition. You should attend a six-month check-up and cleaning because these visits allow our hygienist to examine your gums and look for signs of periodontal irritation or infection. Early symptoms may be easily overlooked and include swollen, red, or tender gums and bleeding while brushing teeth. Our goal is to detect, treat, and reverse the damage from gum disease before major problems arise.
In the early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis. You may experience bad breath (halitosis), and pockets of infection begin to form at the base of teeth inside gum tissue. Bacteria in the periodontal pockets eat away the bond between teeth and gums. Over time, infection grows and the disease gets worse. As the disease progresses into periodontitis, you risk development of bone degeneration and tooth loss.
If we suspect gum disease, we will complete a full assessment of your mouth and then make appropriate recommendations for treatment. Non-surgical gum disease therapy may include scaling and root planing to remove tartar and bacteria, antibiotic treatment to eradicate infection, and more frequent cleanings to check treatment results and deter recurrence. Although we cannot cure periodontal disease, we can stop the progression of the disease so that you can enjoy a healthy smile.