Gum disease is at epidemic proportions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 47% of US adults have some form of periodontal disease. Ultimately, periodontal disease can result in tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is highly preventable with proper home care and professional dental cleanings. This is why we focus on prevention and early treatment when we notice warning signs, which include:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Bad breath
- Tooth mobility
- Pain when cleaning teeth
- Red, swollen gums
More and more research has shown a connection between oral health and systemic health, and our goal is to help patients become healthier overall. Periodontal disease can impact systemic health, and research has shown links to a number of conditions:
- Heart disease
- Certain types of cancers
- Alzheimer’s disease
Treatment for gum disease improves your oral health and supports optimum overall health.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
Treatment depends on how advanced the infection in your gums has become. We provide a complete periodontal evaluation for each patient in our practice.
Our hygienist will measure the pockets between your teeth and gums. Healthy gums hug the teeth snugly, which prevents food particles and bacteria from collecting beneath the gums. As infection develops, the gums become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. This creates a prime situation for bacteria and food to further irritate gum. An infection develops that will damage tissue and cause your bone to deteriorate, destabilizing the very foundation of your teeth.
Treatment for Gum Disease
We treat gum disease with a specialized dental cleaning. Comfort is always one of our top priorities, and we use a topical anesthetic to manage discomfort. Our hygienist will remove the plaque and bacteria above and below the gumline. In some cases, placing a location-specific antibiotic will assist with healing.
For a deep cleaning, more than one appointment may be required. Once we remove the infection and healing begins, regular maintenance will be necessary to keep your gums healthy. Patients who have undergone periodontal treatment may need maintenance appointments every 3 to 4 months because periodontal disease has a good chance of reoccurring in the future.
Good Home Care
In order to keep your oral health on track, good home care in between dental cleanings is essential. This requires a commitment on your part:
- Brushing teeth twice daily using proper techniques
- Flossing each tooth – both sides and behind back teeth
- Rinsing with any recommend antibiotic rinses recommended by Dr. Appel
- Keeping tongue clear of bacteria by brushing or scraping
A healthy diet will also support good gum health. We are happy to discuss all the ways you can have healthy gums, fresh breath, and a smile you feel proud of.
Give us a call and take the first step toward a healthy smile.