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You know the saying, “the best defense is a good offense?” Well, this also applies to your oral health. Every day, you have to fight the bacteria that is attacking your teeth and gums, causing cavities and undermining tissues and bones that keep your teeth in place.
If your gums begin bleeding while brushing or flossing, this is a sign you need to pay more attention to your oral health. You are among half of all Americans over age 30 with symptoms of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Don’t surrender, there may still be a chance to turn this around.
Disease of the gums starts with gingivitis, an ailment that causes redness, irritation and swelling of gums that is completely reversible. Our dentist in Fort Myers can provide help on how to improve your daily dental hygiene to eliminate gingivitis.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
When bacteria in tartar and plaque spread below your gum line and erode tissue and bone that keep teeth in their sockets, that is when gum disease needs more evasive treatment.
Factors leading to a more serious periodontal disease include lack of good dental hygiene, misaligned and/or crowded teeth, poor eating habits, use of tobacco products including smoking, aging, heredity, pregnancy, stress, and systemic diseases, such as diabetes.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease starts as an infection with few symptoms and as it progresses, you may experience:
- Continued red, puffy and/or bleeding gums
- Recession of your gums from teeth
- Bad breath or a consistent bad taste in your mouth
- Teeth surrounded by pus
- Loose teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call Towncare Dental of Ft. Myers today at (239) 243-9238 for a consultation.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is the first stage and the only type of gum disease that can be cured. Watch for signs of red or puffy gums, or bleeding when you brush or floss.
Gingivitis has the potential to progress into periodontitis, a serious gum disease that will compromise tissue and bone that support your teeth. This also impacts your overall health.
When gums begin to recede from your teeth forming “pockets,” food and bacteria will gather in these spots causing permanent damage that will need frequent treatment by professionals.
For adults, gum disease is the number one reason for loose teeth and tooth loss, says the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. To ensure you won’t need dental implants or dentures later, pay attention to your oral health today.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Your twice annual teeth cleaning, which polishes teeth above the gum line, is proven successful when it comes to gingivitis. However, if you have a more serious periodontal disease, bacteria below the gum line must be treated to avoid serious complications. Scaling and root planing, performed by a periodontist or hygienist in Fort Myers, will eliminate plaque and tartar from pockets and smooth the tooth root to eradicate bacteria. You may need an antibiotic to eliminate the infection.
Plan on needing more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance to treat the infection and to stop it from spreading. Periodontitis is a serious systemic disease and you should treat it with equal seriousness.
If periodontal disease continues to progress, teeth may become loose and eventually fall out. To prevent this from happening, our dentist or periodontist may perform a regenerative procedure such as a bone or tissue graft or tissue-stimulating proteins to restore what’s been lost.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
Remember, you cannot be passive when it comes to your dental health. A strict regimen of daily brushing and flossing and twice-yearly dentist visits (more if you need periodontal maintenance) will help ensure a lifetime of beautiful smiles. If you need help to achieve these goals, contact us at (239) 243-9238.