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To defend your healthy smile you are going have to go on offense because your mouth is under attack. A constant barrage of bacteria is marching across your teeth and gums, damaging tooth enamel and undermining tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place.
If your gums begin bleeding while brushing for flossing, it is a first sign you need to pay more attention to your oral health. Half of Americans over the age of 30 have symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But don’t panic, with proper diagnosis and treatment, you can manage the disease and restore your health.
Gum disease starts with gingivitis, a common ailment, that causes redness, irritation and swelling but is totally reversible. Our dentist in West Palm Beach can provide advice on how to improve your oral hygiene to eliminate gingivitis.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
When bacteria in plaque and tartar spread below your gum line and erode tissue and bone keep teeth in their sockets, that is when it becomes a concern and needs prompt attention.
Causes leading to a more serious periodontal disease include poor dental hygiene, misaligned and crowded teeth, poor eating habits, use of tobacco products including smoking, aging, heredity, pregnancy, extreme stress, and systematic diseases.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Many times, periodontal disease begins as an infection with few symptoms. As it advances, you may experience:
- Red, puffy and/or bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Very bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Pus around your teeth
- Teeth that are loose
If you have any of these symptoms, please call Towncare Dental of Forest Hill today at (561) 459-1488 for a consultation.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Keep an eye out for signs of gingivitis because it is the only stage of gum disease that can be reversed by strong at-home oral hygiene and regular dentist visits.
If untreated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, a serious gum disease that can compromise the tissue and bone that support your teeth. This also can impact your overall health.
If your gums begin to separate from your teeth forming “pockets,” food and bacteria will gather causing permanent damage that will need persistent treatment by professionals.
For adults, periodontal disease is the leading cause of teeth becoming loose or falling out completely, says the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. To ensure you won’t need dental implants or dentures later in life, give due diligence to your oral health today.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Your twice annual teeth cleaning, which polishes teeth above the gum line, is very helpful when it comes to gingivitis. However, if you have a more serious periodontal disease, bacteria below the gum line must not be ignored. Scaling and root planing, performed by a hygienist, dentist, or periodontist in West Palm Beach, will remove plaque and tartar from pockets and smooth the tooth root to eliminate bacteria. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to treat your gum infection.
It is likely you will need more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance to treat the infection and to stop it from spreading quickly. Gum disease is a serious systemic disease and you should treat it with equal seriousness.
If periodontal disease is permitted to go unchecked, your teeth may become loose and eventually fall out. To prevent this outcome, our dentist or periodontist may perform a restorative procedure like a bone or tissue graft or tissue-stimulating proteins to restore the tissue around your teeth.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
Caring for your teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment. A strict regimen of daily brushing and flossing and twice-yearly dentist visits (more if you require periodontal maintenance), are good steps to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. If you need help to achieve your goals, contact us at (561) 459-1488.