How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

 

Gum Disease

 

How you take care of your teeth is very important to your overall oral health. However, the condition of your gums is just as vital to the health and beauty of your smile. Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene habits–meaning that it is completely preventable. Many gum disease problems can even be reversed with proper care. A buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis, which can lead to full-blown periodontal disease. Gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is painless, especially at it’s onset, so it’s important to look out for symptoms such as: bleeding gums, receding gums, swollen, tender or red gums, loose teeth, bad breath and pain when chewing. When protecting your oral health, it’s always important to give just as much attention to the gums as you do the teeth. Prevention is key to avoiding many oral health problems and diseases. Learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it, and make sure to come into our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies office for your biannual cleaning to keep your pearly whites sparkling!

 

Prevalence of Gum Disease

The American Academy of Periodontology reports that 1 out of every 2 adults over 30 years of age has periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the more formal name for gum disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects not only the teeth but also the gum tissue and leads to tooth loss. The CDC reports that at least 64.7 million American adults have some form of periodontitis or gum disease, but that it’s completely preventable. 8.5% of the population has severe periodontitis and are at extreme risk for partial or full teeth loss. 30% have moderate periodontitis and 8.7% have mild periodontitis. If you have periodontitis at all, being in the mild range is the best for full recovery and prevention of further damage. Most adults don’t realize just how important their oral health is for overall health and wellness.

 

 

How Will I Know the Signs?

Oral health is incredibly important in preventing gingivitis, or the mildest form of periodontal disease. Not cleaning your teeth through good oral hygiene practices (brushing and flossing teeth 2x per day) can lead to a buildup of plaque, that mixes with bacteria in the mouth to form an acidic substance. That substance can erode the hard enamel of teeth, leaking into the soft pulp of the tooth that houses the blood vessels and nerves that nourishes your teeth. It will begin to decay the soft pulp, leading to infections and abscess. It can also erode the teeth along the gumline, causing them to recede, become loose and fall out.

The preventable buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis, which can lead to full-blown periodontal disease if nothing is done. When plaque and tartar remain on your teeth for too long, they irritate the part of your gums that surround the base of your teeth, known as the gingiva (hence the name gingivitis). Periodontal disease can spread to underlying tissue and bone, which can actually cause tooth decay and tooth loss. Gum disease is painless, especially at it’s onset, so it’s important to look out for telltale symptoms. These include bleeding gums, receding gums, swollen, tender or red gums, loose teeth, bad breath and pain when chewing.

 

Treatments for Gum Disease

We provide 2 types of periodontal disease treatments that are non-surgical or surgical. Our non-surgical treatments consist of antibiotic applications below the gumline, regular cleanings (that should be done several times a year, periodontal devices such as night guards and bite guards (that protect the structure and strength of teeth) and deep cleanings (scaling and root planing).

Our surgical periodontal procedures are vast, but gum disease if very serious, so we have many things to combat it and prevent further damage. For receding gumlines, we providing gingival grafting to cover an exposed tooth root and treat gum recession. We also do bone grafting to prep for dental implants. These implants are for missing teeth that fell victim to gum disease. To try to halt gum disease progression, we can perform a gum pocket reduction to decrease your vulnerability to tooth and gum infection. Lost teeth can affect jawbone strength and integrity, so we do ridge augmentation to reinforce the jawbone where teeth have been lost. We also provide crowd lengthening. All of these procedures are done to combat gum disease and prevent it from progressing further. The ideal situation would be to consistently keep up on your oral health, exams and cleanings so that none of these procedures have to be done.

 

Call for a Gum Disease Consultation

We believe that the foundation of good oral health is a comprehensive oral exam, and then frequent biannual checkups to monitor the health of your teeth. Gum disease is 100% preventable and we want to do all that we can to make sure you always enjoy a brilliant, healthy smile and an equally healthy mouth. Call Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies today at (970) 223-8425 to schedule your exam or to learn more about gum disease. Let us help keep your smile beautiful and radiant for years to come!

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