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Your smile is one of the first things someone will likely notice about you and it should make a good impression. Unfortunately, bacteria, plaque and more are undermining that smile by wreaking havoc on the teeth enamel, gums and the bone holding your teeth in place.
If brushing or flossing leaves pink in the sink, you likely have some form of a periodontal disease, more commonly called gum disease. No worries; you aren’t the only one. Nearly half of all Americans over 30 years of age have some form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the first stage, and is the only stage that can be counter attacked with regular dental visits and excellent hygiene at home.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a more serious stage of gum disease when the bacteria in plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth spreads below the gum line where it can erode tissue and bone. Factors leading to this ailment include substandard dental hygiene, misaligned or crowded teeth, poor eating habits, use of tobacco products and/or smoking, aging, family history, hormonal changes during pregnancy, stress and systematic illness such as diabetes and heart disease.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Usually, gum disease begins as a simple infection and you may not immediately notice symptoms. As it progresses, signs of periodontal disease will be revealed, including: swollen, tender or bleeding gums, recession of gums, very bad breath, a lingering bad taste in your mouth, and teeth that are loose or shifting.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please make an appointment with one of our dentists at G&G Dental Associates. Call (954) 246-4835 today for a consultation.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
To reiterate, if you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, consider it a first alarm. Preventative dental checkups and teeth cleanings, plus eating well and practicing good dental hygiene should treat the condition and leave you with a healthy mouth.
If gingivitis is untreated, it more than likely will lead to periodontitis, a serious infection that causes gums to separate from the teeth, forming “pockets.” These spaces collect food debris and bacteria as plaque grows below the gum line. Toxins produced by bacteria and “good” enzymes that fight infection together begin breaking down bone and connective tissue that keep your teeth in place.
As periodontitis becomes more serious, the pockets deepen and more tissue and bone is destroyed and your teeth are no longer anchored in their sockets. They will become loose and possibly could fall out.
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Don’t a negative statistic; seek assistance at G&G Dental Associates when symptoms first show themselves and get yourself on the road to better oral health.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
When you go to a dentist or hygienist for your teeth cleaning, you may not realize that most of the attention is focused on the teeth above the gum line. To reach the bacteria hidden beneath the gum line, our periodontist or hygienist at G&G Dental Associates will perform scaling and root planing, deep-cleaning methods that remove plaque and tartar. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to reduce the pockets in your mouth.
To keep periodontitis from causing more damage to your teeth, you will require frequent cleanings to maintain your mouth’s health. This is important because gum disease may play a role in heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more. If gum disease runs in your family, you need to be especially vigilant.
If unchecked, periodontal disease can destroy the bone in your mouth causing your teeth to become loose or fall out. In these cases, our dentist or periodontist may perform a regenerative procedure — a bone and/or tissue graft — or apply tissue-stimulating proteins to regrow bone and tissue.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
You are the best defense for your teeth and it’s best to go on offense to prevent gum disease. It is recommended you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss every day, replace your toothbrush every three months, consume a well-balanced diet and schedule regular dental checkups.
We are committed to you having a healthy smile to make that good first impression. Call G&G Dental Associates at (954) 246-4835 for a consultation.