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Are you aware that taking good care of your teeth and gums can help your overall health? Consider yourself the protector of your smile and body by fighting the bacteria in your mouth than can attack the teeth enamel, gums and eventually the bone that keeps your teeth in place.
About half of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a gum infection. This is caused by poor brushing and flossing habits. But don’t worry; if caught early, gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease, can be stopped in tracks. After one of our dentists at Towncare Dental of Bonita Springs examines your mouth, a corrective regimen will be prescribed. Our dentists are committed to ensuring your mouth is healthy and able to support your teeth for years to come.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in plaque and tartar that builds on your teeth and can move below your gum line — weakening tissue and bones that support your teeth.
Many factors play a role periodontal disease, including inconsistent dental hygiene, poor nutrition, use of tobacco products, smoking, age, heredity, pregnancy, stress and systemic diseases, such as diabetes.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
For many, a periodontal disease begins a painless infection in the mouth with few symptoms. As it progresses, you may realize you have one or more of these symptoms signaling periodontal disease:
- Gums that are red, puffy or bleeding
- Receding gums
- Bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth
- Pus round the teeth or loose teeth
If these symptoms sound familiar, please make an appointment with one of our denists at Towncare Dental of Bonita Springs today at (239) 494-4720.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
If the gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to periodontitis, a disease that, as it progresses, breaks down supportive tissues and bones, causing the gums to separate from the teeth. These separations are called “pockets.” Food and more bacteria can gather and fester in the pockets, leading to further destruction of the gum tissue and bone.
Periodontal disease has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and other ailments, and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
A thorough regimen of brushing, flossing and professional cleanings is the best defense against periodontal disease. However, only a dental professional can reach bacteria below the gum line.
To reach bacteria below the gum line, the hygienist, dentist, or periodontist will use the technique scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning designed to remove plaque and tartar from the infected pockets and smooth the tooth root to remove bacteria. If needed, an antibiotic will be applied to treat the gum infection.
You may need more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance to treat the infected areas and keep the gum disease from wreaking further havoc.
If the bone supporting your teeth has been compromised, our dentist or a specialist may recommend a regenerative procedure, such as a bone and/or tissue graft, or application of tissue-stimulating proteins to regrow bone and tissue.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease is to have professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year – more if you require periodontal maintenance – and consistent at-home oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once a day will prevent tartar build-up on your teeth and below your gum line, leading to a brighter, longer lasting smile.
Our dentists, periodontist and staff at Towncare Dental of Bonita Springs are devoted to helping you maintain a beautiful healthy smile and more. Call (239) 494-4720 to schedule a consultation.