Regular Checkups Are Important
Gum disease (known officially as periodontal disease) is a common problem. This disease is an infection that affects the gum tissue and bone tissue surrounding your teeth. It can cause the gums to be pulled away from your teeth. This may leave gaps that can make you susceptible to infection. The body may respond to infection by dissolving the bone structure and connective tissue that hold your teeth in their proper placement. This will eventually cause those teeth to become loose. They may fall out or they may need to be removed. In addition, research has linked periodontal disease to bacterial pneumonia, pregnancy complications, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. It is important to maintain your regular dental checkups and spot periodontal disease in its earliest stages.
Will I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Because it does not always display obvious symptoms, it can be difficult to discern if you have gum disease through your own observations. Your dentist will be able to keep a close eye on any possibility of gum disease through regular checkups, cleanings, and x-rays.
What Treatments Are Available?
Your dentist will recommend treatment options depending upon the stage of your condition.
- Scaling and Root Planing
At Fisher Dentistry, we have hygienists who are professionally trained. They can perform a deep cleaning that finds the tartar and plaque that is hidden in out-of-the way pockets in the gums. If necessary, they will perform a procedure known as planing in which they smooth the surface of the root of a tooth and remove calcified bacteria. Once the bacteria are removed, the gum tissue will heal and return to its normal healthy condition. This will allow the gum to once again attach itself to the tooth in the proper way. Planing may require more than one office visit; however, once the procedure is completed properly it will be possible for you to maintain healthy gums through good oral hygiene at home.
For some situations, Dr. Fisher may prescribe medications that are useful for the non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. The purpose of this medication will be to eliminate the bacterial infection and give the gum tissue the opportunity to heal. These prescribed medications can include a special mouth rinse, antibiotics, or a special substance that can be placed into periodontal pockets after a scaling and planing treatment has been performed.
- Surgical Periodontal Therapy
This treatment may be necessary if your dentist must confront periodontal disease in difficult to reach places. At times, periodontal disease may not respond completely to non-surgical treatments. If this is determined to be necessary, Dr. Fisher can remove the plaque and tartar that is built up on the gums with periodontal surgery. Once he has completed the treatment, he will stitch the affected gums back in place so that they will not be loose around the teeth.
Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
If you have these symptoms, it is not a certainty that you have periodontal disease. However, they are warning signs that should certainly have you setting up a dental appointment for further diagnosis.
- Bleeding of the gums after daily brushing and flossing
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Receded gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus that exudes from between the teeth and gums
- Irregular loose teeth
- A noticeable change in your bite or the fit of your denture
Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
You can certainly do several things to make periodontal disease much less likely:
- Thorough, daily oral hygiene is the best preventive effort you can make
- Brush and floss thoroughly at least two times per day
- Good nutrition in your diet will be very helpful to your gums
- Don’t skip your regular dental checkups and cleanings