Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems the nation is experiencing. More than 64 million American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. It starts with gingivitis and slowly progresses to full-blown gum disease (also known as periodontitis). We are an eco-friendly practice and specialize in giving you a better smile naturally. Gum disease is one of the most preventable oral health diseases. We can give you tips to prevent and combat gum disease to keep your mouth healthy. For patients who already have gum disease, we have deep cleaning treatments and periodontal maintenance techniques that can help restore your smile. Learn more about our scaling and root planing services that are designed to provide you a healthy tissue environment and a better mouth today!
Gingivitis Is the First Stage of Gum Disease
Gum disease goes by a few different names depending on what stage of the disease a patient is in. The beginning stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. When plaque sits on the teeth for too long, the gums begin to become inflamed. Plaque is the sticky film that forms on the teeth as a result of sugars mixing with bacteria in your mouth. This forms an acidic substance that causes inflammation. Plaque forms every single day from the foods you eat. That’s why it’s so important to brush your teeth several times a day. Symptoms of gingivitis you should look out for are red, swollen or tender gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. These are early warning signs of gum disease. Luckily, gingivitis is the easiest stage of gum disease to treat.
The Progression of Gum Disease
Why is it important to catch gum disease in its early stages? When caught early, gingivitis can be reversed. With later stages of gum disease, the damage is not reversible. Gum disease is also known by the name of periodontitis (or periodontal disease). Periodontitis is the later stage of gum disease and the stage where treatment becomes harder. When good oral hygiene practices are not followed, plaque can erode the teeth and seep into the tooth enamel. This causes cavities and infection in the teeth to begin. That plaque can also cause the gums to be inflamed past the point of simply being tender and swollen. Plaque can spread deep enough that it can grow below the gum line. Periodontitis is the later stage of gum disease where the gums recede from the teeth. This can literally make the teeth fall out. Once one tooth comes out, a domino effect can occur and more and more teeth can be lost. This happens because the mouth loses strength in the area where a tooth is lost. The surrounding teeth become weaker and fall out more easily, especially when the gums are already affected by periodontitis.
How To Treat Gum Disease
The CDC reports that half of American adults have periodontal disease. That equates to around 64.7 million Americans. That’s only counting Americans who are adults. Around 8.7% have mild periodontitis. 30% have moderate periodontitis and 8.5% of American adults have severe periodontitis and tooth loss. Nobody wants to lose their teeth! At Niles Family Dentistry, we want all of our patients to keep their teeth and keep them healthy. That is why we provide treatments for gum disease so that you can have better oral health. Periodontal disease in its later stages is harder to treat, but you do have options.
- Deep Cleaning – With periodontal disease, gingival tissue may detach (pull away) from the teeth. We provide scaling and root planing as part of our deep cleaning regimen for gum disease treatment. This is intended to provide a healthy tissue environment in which tissues readapt to your tooth surface.
- Periodontal Maintenance – After a proper diagnosis, we will establish a stabilization treatment for your level of periodontal disease. These procedures are very similar to regular cleanings, but the tissues are monitored differently and treated more frequently.
Oral Hygiene Practices for Better Oral Health
The better care you take of your teeth and gums, the lower your risk will be for periodontal disease. Gum disease is 100% preventable. Always brush and floss your teeth several times a day. Cleaning your teeth after every meal can lower your risk for gum disease even more. We recommend keeping up on each and every cleaning biannually to monitor your oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. If you have mild or advanced gum disease, we can help scale back the damage. Come see us at Niles Family Dentistry for your gum disease evaluation and treatment! Call our office at (303) 652-0400 for your appointment today!