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Your overall health can be directly related to your oral health, so protect yourself by taking care of your teeth and gums. The bacteria in your mouth can attack your teeth enamel, gum tissue and the bone that hold your teeth in place.
One of the first signs of poor oral health is if your gums bleed when you brush or floss. Don’t worry, it’s not just you. About half the people over 30 years old in the U.S. have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
Gingivitis, a buildup of plaque at the gum line, is an early stage of gum disease and the only one that can be reversed. One of our dentists in Sunrise will examine your gums to ensure they are healthy and able to support your teeth for years to come.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can spread below the gum line and prompt deterioration of tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place.
There are several factors that can lead to periodontal disease, including:
- Poor dental regimen
- Misaligned teeth
- Poor eating habits
- Use of tobacco and/or smoking
- Hormone changes due to pregnancy
- Long-term stress
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease usually begins as a painless infection with few symptoms. As it progresses, you may recognize signs of the disease, such as red, puffy or bleeding gums, gum recession, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, loose teeth or pus around your teeth.
Please call Sunrise Dental Group today at (954) 246-4871 if you have any of these symptoms.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
As stated above, a buildup of plaque carrying bacteria causes gingivitis. You can prevent this from occurring or progressing with professional treatment and consistent dental hygiene at home.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, an ailment that causes a breakdown of tissue and bone that support your teeth. The gums also recede, which means they pull away from the tooth. Bacteria gathers in the “pockets” created leading to further loss of gum tissue and bone.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. And because the health of your teeth and gums is tied into your overall health, it also has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Hopefully you visit the dentist regularly for a teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis. What you might not realize is that a cleaning only polishes the tooth above the gum line. In order to eliminate bacteria below the gum line, our periodontist or hygienist in Sunrise will perform a procedure called scaling and root planning, a deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from periodontal pockets and smooths the tooth root to remove bacteria. If needed, an antibiotic may be applied to treat the gum infection.
To prevent the gum disease from advancing, you may require more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal treatment in the infected areas. Remember, gum disease is only reversible when detected in the gingivitis stage.
If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed due to periodontal disease, our dentist or a periodontist may recommend a restorative procedure, such as a bone or tissue graft, or application of tissue-stimulating proteins to regenerate bone and gums.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
The most effective way to prevent gum disease is to have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year — more if you require periodontal maintenance. Also, proper at-home oral hygiene, including brushing after meals and flossing once a day will prevent tartar build-up.
Our dentists at Sunrise Dental Group are committed to helping you maintain your oral health and keep your smile. Contact us at (954) 246-4871 for a consultation or treatment.