Your gums deserve the same sort of excellent dental care as your teeth, because, after all, they are part of the support system that keeps your teeth from falling out. In fact, gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. As such, we will be focusing on this affliction throughout today’s blog post.
Keep reading, and then be sure to follow up with our Laredo, TX dentist’s office to schedule your next appointment with one of our three great dentists.
Gum Disease Explained
Here’s the deal: gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by oral bacteria. You may notice that your gums are red and swollen, or that they bleed easily. These signs characterize the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis. If you aren’t careful, things can get out of hand. Most adults in this country will have experienced some level of gum disease in their lifetime.
An Ever-Expanding Problem
Gingivitis that is not addressed early inevitably advances to periodontitis. At this not-so-fun stage, your gums will begin to pull away from your teeth and form pockets where more bacteria can gather.
This hidden bacteria will, in turn, attack your bone and soft tissues. Eventually, your teeth will begin to fall out, because there is no support system left to hold them in place.
Sounds awful, doesn’t it?
The good news is that early-stage gum disease is completely reversible. No significant damage will have been done yet, so your regular professional teeth cleanings and heightened oral hygiene practices at home ought to be all it takes to restore your gums to a healthy, happy state.
Still, more advanced cases of gum disease usually require further measures. It all depends on what you are confronted with.
We may recommend deep cleaning (also known as “scaling and root planing”), the use of prescription antibiotics, and specific oral hygiene tools to treat advanced gum disease. Don’t worry, scaling and planing is much like the regular cleanings that you are used to. However, we will go deeper to also scrape away bacteria and toxins from the surfaces of the tooth roots.
We will also use special dental tools to polish the root surfaces in order to make it harder for bacteria to ever hide in those spaces. If you are suffering from more severe gum disease, we may refer you to a local periodontist. That way, a surgical specialist will be able to assess what is going on and help you get the advanced care you need.
As we’ve been saying, it is always in your best interest to keep regular appointments for dental checkups so that we can stay in-tune with your needs. Gum disease that is detected and treated early, won’t have any long-lasting impact on your life. The same can not be said for gum disease that is allowed to break loose.
Save Your Smile!