According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all adults in the United States have some level of periodontal disease. Are you one of them?
Gum disease may not seem like a big deal. After all, your gums are a fairly small part of your body. Does it really matter if they are puffy and inflamed?
As you might suspect, the answer is yes. Healthy gums are a crucial part of a healthy mouth. Your periodontal tissue, which includes the soft gum tissue you see, the bone structure beneath the gums, and the ligaments that hold the teeth in place, helps to protect the teeth and keep them healthy.
What you may not realize, however, is that the importance of periodontal health goes beyond oral health. Researchers have linked gum disease to other major systemic conditions, including heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Pregnant women with gum disease are more likely to give birth to low-birth-weight babies.
Protecting your gum health is an important part of taking care of your overall health. At House Family Dental, we can help.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a chronic, progressive infection in the gum tissue. As bacteria attack the tissue, the soft gum tissue pulls away from the teeth and the bone structure and ligaments weaken. Eventually, you will likely lose teeth, since gum disease is the most common reason for tooth loss in adults in the U.S.
In its earliest stages, gum disease may go unnoticed. You may not experience symptoms, or the symptoms may be so subtle that you are not aware of them. As the disease progresses, however, you will likely experience several of the following:
- Red, puffy, and tender gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
- Chronic bad breath
- A sensation that your teeth are loose
- Pus in between the teeth
With good home hygiene and regular cleanings and exams, we can often prevent gum disease from ever developing. If gum disease has developed, we want to stop it as soon as possible and prevent further damage.
Treating Periodontal Disease
During your regular cleanings and examinations at House Family Dental, your dentist and hygienist will look carefully for any signs of periodontal disease. The earlier we can catch and stop this disease, the better.
When periodontal disease is caught early, it can often be reversed by improving your home care routine or with the addition of antimicrobial products (such as mouth rinse). Your dentist will provide advice and recommendations.
If the disease has progressed, your treatment may include a deep cleaning treatment, known as scaling and root planing. During this treatment, we will carefully remove plaque and tartar from beneath the gumline and smooth out the roots of your teeth. This helps eliminate the bacteria and prevent them from returning. We may also use an antibiotic, which is applied to the pockets in your gums. Your comfort is important to us, and we will make sure that you are numb and comfortable before we begin this process.
Call for an Evaluation
Has it been a while since your last examination? Are you noticing some of the signs of gum disease like bad breath or bleeding gums? Call today to schedule an evaluation at our Pueblo West, CO dental office.