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Every day should start with a smile – a healthy smile. And to ensure it’s all it can be, taking care of your teeth and gums need to be a priority.
Unfortunately, bacteria in your mouth is working against you, attacking the enamel of your teeth, gum tissue and the bone holding your teeth in place.
Did you know that half of Americans over age 30 have some form of periodontal disease? What’s “periodontal,” you ask? “Peri” is defined as “around” and “dontic” means “tooth”; periodontal disease is just another way of saying gum disease.
Our dentist in Palm Dental Center can assist by examining your gums and providing advice and treatment to ensure they are healthy enough to support your teeth for many years.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can spread below the gum line and permanently damage the tissue and bone that hold teeth in place.
Many factors contribute to periodontal disease, including bad tooth alignment, not eating well, poor dental hygiene, smoking, aging, heredity, stress, age, pregnancy, and disease, such as diabetes.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Usually, periodontal disease begins as a painless infection with few symptoms. As it progresses, these symptoms may present themselves:
- Red, puffy, and/or bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Breath that is noticeably bad
- Foul after-taste in your mouth
- Teeth that are loose or have pus around them
Reversing gum disease while in an early stage can help you avoid these serious consequences. If you are concerned about your oral health please call Palm Dental Center today at (305) 921-0481.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, because it is reversible, you need to seize the day and improve your oral hygiene immediately. That is accomplished with professional dental cleanings and improved brushing and flossing at home.
Untreated gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a mouth disease that permanently damages the tissues and bone that support the teeth. The gums also begin to separate from the teeth creating “pockets.” Food and other bacteria gather in those pockets causing the disease to progress more quickly.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. It also is linked to diabetes and heart disease, providing more incentive to respect and care for your mouth.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The typical twice-annual teeth cleaning by a dentist or hygienist polishes teeth above the gum line. To eradicate bacteria below the gum line, our team at Palm Dental Center will use an approach called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from periodontal pockets and smooth the tooth root to remove bacteria. If an infection is present, an antibiotic may be applied or prescribed.
If you are diagnosed as having periodontal disease, you may require more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance to treat the infected areas to keep the gum disease in check.
In the final stage of gum disease, the bone and tissue supporting your teeth are destroyed and your teeth may shift, loosen or fall out. Our dentist may recommend a constructive approach such as a bone or tissue graft, or apply tissue-stimulating proteins to regenerate tissue and bone.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
You have the power to control your dental and overall health with an improved at-home oral hygiene routine, including brushing your teeth after meals and flossing once a day. You also should have at least two professional cleanings a year.
Our dentists at Palm Dental Center are committed to helping you keep your smile healthy. Contact us at (305) 921-0481 for an appointment.