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Your smile is one of the first things people notice so shouldn’t it be healthy and bright? A healthy smile includes both healthy teeth and gums. Bacteria found in your mouth can attack the enamel of your teeth and also erode gum tissue and bone that keep your teeth in place.
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, you’re not alone. Half of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontal disease. “Peri” means around and “dontic” means tooth; periodontal disease is just another way of saying gum disease.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and that’s the only stage that is reversible. Our dentist in Altamonte Springs will examine your gums to ensure they are healthy and able to support your teeth through your lifetime.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can spread below the gum line and erode the tissues and bone that compromise the sockets of your teeth.
There are several factors that can lead to periodontal disease, including:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Crowded or misaligned teeth
- Bad eating habits
- Genetic predisposition
- Long-term Stress
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Many times, periodontal disease starts as a painless infection with minor symptoms. As it advances, you may become aware of one or more of these signs. If you have any of these symptoms of gum disease, please call Towncare Dental of Altamonte Springs today at (407) 278-1210.
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Bad breath
- Lousy taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pus around the teeth
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Did you know that the first stage of gum disease is gingivitis? You can help reverse this ailment with professional dental treatment and good dental hygiene at home.
If the gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to periodontitis. As it progresses, periodontitis breaks down the tissues and bones that support the teeth, causing the gums to separate from the teeth. This creates “pockets” where more bacteria can gather and fester, leading to further destruction of the gum tissue and bone.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Gum disease has ties to diabetes, heart disease and more.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Many people aren’t aware that a regular teeth cleaning, called a prophylaxis, only polishes the tooth above the gum line. To treat bacteria below the gum line, our periodontist or hygienist in Altamonte Springs will use a technique called scaling and root planing, a procedure designed to remove plaque and tartar from periodontal pockets and smooth the tooth root to remove bacteria. If needed, an antibiotic also can be prescribed to treat the gum infection.
You may require more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance in order to treat the infected areas and keep the gum disease from advancing. Gum disease is a systemic disease; it’s only reversible when it’s caught in the gingivitis stage.
If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed due to periodontal disease, our dentist or a specialist may recommend a regenerative procedure like a bone graft, tissue graft, or recommend tissue-stimulating proteins to regenerate bone and tissue.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
The most effective way to prevent gum disease is to have professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year – more if you require periodontal maintenance – and proper oral hygiene at home. Brushing teeth after meals and flossing at least once a day will prevent tartar build-up on your teeth and below your gum line.
Our dentists at Towncare Dental of Altamonte Springs pledge to help you maintain your oral health and keep your smile healthy. Contact us at (407) 278-1210 for a consultation or treatment.