Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. The progressive condition is not painful in its early stages, so it often goes untreated. At Hebron Family Dentistry, we stress the importance of preventing, treating, and managing gum disease to ensure our valued patients enjoy healthy smiles that last.
What Is Gum Disease and What Are Its Causes?
Gum disease is an inflammation and infection of the tissues supporting the teeth, including the gums, ligaments, and bone. It usually results from plaque accumulation on the teeth and gum line, which irritates the gums, leading to inflammation. If not treated, periodontal disease can progress and cause irreversible damage to the tissue and bone holding the teeth in place, leading to loose teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.
Aside from plaque accumulation, risk factors for gum disease include poor oral hygiene, crooked teeth, tobacco use, family history, hormonal changes, certain medications, and some health conditions, including diabetes. The good news is that when detected early, gum disease can be managed or even reversed, preventing long-term damage to your oral health.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Symptoms of gum disease depend on how advanced the condition is. Some of the most common signs of gum disease include the following:
- Red, tender, or swollen gums
- Gum bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Gum recession
- Painful chewing
- Changes in how the teeth fit together when you bite
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, make sure to visit Hebron Family Dentistry. The earlier gum disease is treated the better the outcomes.
Gum Disease and Your Health
Gum disease not only affects your smile but can also impact your overall health. Studies have shown a link between gum disease and serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. That’s why keeping your gums healthy is one of our top priorities at Hebron Family Dentistry.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Treating gum disease starts with a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing. Scaling involves using an instrument called a scaler to remove plaque and hardened tartar from your teeth and below the gum line. Root planing cleans and smooths the tooth root surfaces, promoting gum tissue healing.
Scaling and root planing can reverse gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. It can also stop the progression of periodontitis, preventing its damaging effects on your oral and overall health.
After gum disease treatment, we typically recommend periodontal maintenance visits every three to four months. We will clean your teeth, measure the depth of your periodontal pockets, and evaluate the health of your gums. We will intervene, as needed, to maintain your gum health.
It’s also important to maintain regular dental care and good oral hygiene to keep your gums healthy and sound. That includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. The goal is to keep your gums healthy and your teeth intact for as long as possible.
Gum Disease Treatment and Management Near Me
Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about gum disease prevention, treatment, and management for long-term healthy smiles. You can always count on Dr. Watson and her team for exceptional, compassionate care. Call 859-689-2021 to schedule your appointment today!