Are your gums in a healthy state or are you suffering from gum disease? This is something that you need to know the answer to, but probably don’t.
Unless you have been diagnosed by your dentist, you probably don’t know if you are suffering from some form of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) or not. The reason for this, is that periodontal disease does not present many signs or symptoms. The few you can look for include unexplained bleeding while brushing or flossing, and your gums appearing bright red and inflamed.
If you notice either of the above signs, you should schedule a dental appointment ASAP. Your dentist’s office will have specialized tools to determine the health of your gums. Additionally, these tools will determine how far your gum disease has developed and what treatment is necessary. The earlier you catch gum disease, the better off you will be, as, if you let gum disease develop too far, it will not be able to be fully cured. Your dentist will be able to put together a personalized treatment plan to improve the overall health and wellness of your gums. Please note that a treatment plan may include the work of a periodontist.
Determining if you have periodontal disease, and receiving necessary treatment, is critical for your oral health. Along with this, gum disease has been associated with many other diseases including:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
As with any health issues, you are better off preventing periodontal disease from ever forming. Gum disease can be usually avoided by following instructions below:
- Brush twice per day for two minutes
- Floss daily
- Brush your tongue, roof of your mouth, and gums
- Use mouthwash
If you have developed gum disease—whether you have been properly caring for your teeth, or neglecting them—there is treatment available. How far your gum disease has advanced will determine what type of treatment your case demands. The most common form of treatment for gum disease is a deep cleaning. This type of cleaning will be necessary if you develop gum disease, as your regular cleanings will no longer properly clean your teeth and gum line.
Deep cleanings utilize special tools and techniques and include two steps: scaling and root planing.
The first step, scaling, removes tartar and plaque from the surface of your tooth and beneath your gum line.
The second step, root planing, is a process of carefully smoothing the surface of your tooth’s root to decrease inflammation, and shrink the pockets that have formed in your gums. If these pockets are left untreated, they will continue to allow plaque and tartar to build up under your gums and on your gum line.
Typically, a deep cleaning will require 2-4 visits to your dentist, and also may involve a local anesthetic during treatment.
Unfortunately, if your gum disease has developed too far, it cannot be fully cured, only treated. Gum disease is a systemic disease, very similar to diabetes or high blood pressure (HBP). After you have received a deep cleaning, it is important to continue treatment and schedule routine cleanings at your dentist’s office. If you do not receive routine cleanings, gum disease can cause tooth loss, loss of jaw bone, and lead to many other health problems.
To learn more on deep cleanings, visit Oral-B’s website.
Do You Need a Dentist?
Dr. Drake is always welcoming new patients and wants to improve the health of your smile. Contact us today to schedule a visit with Drake Family Dental at our office in Bonner Springs, KS.