Periodontal (gum) disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for US adults. Some studies indicate that this prevalent oral health condition effects as much as 80% of the adult population over the age of 35. Unfortunately, many cases of gum disease go undiagnosed and untreated for years. This can lead to negative effects such as bleeding gums, receding gum line, teeth that shift out of alignment, and chronic bad breath. At Generations Dental Care, we partner with patients to prevent these adverse oral health effects, ensuring healthy gums and teeth. When we aren’t able to stop gum disease before it begins, we provide a wide variety of periodontal therapies to put the smiles back on our patients’ faces. If you’d like to find out more about periodontal disease and the treatments available for our patients, please call our friendly team to schedule an appointment today.
Links Between Oral & Overall Health
In addition to impacting oral health, gum disease has been linked to numerous chronic and systemic illnesses. While the research is not completely conclusive, the basic idea is that the body’s fight against the chronic infection in the gums weakens the immune system and leaves other areas at greater risk. Additionally, infection in the gums can easily be transferred into the blood stream causing cardiovascular concerns. Gum disease is so common in expectant mothers that it has a unique title – pregnancy gingivitis. Left untreated, periodontal infection is linked to low weight and preterm births.
How to Keep Healthy Gums
Start with the basics at home. Brushing teeth is essential to remove plaque buildup from the front, back, and biting surfaces of teeth. Brush for two minutes at a time two times a day with a soft bristled tooth brush. To remove plaque between teeth, you need to floss at least once every day. If you already struggle with gum disease, we may prescribe an oral rinse that decreases the amount of plaque-producing oral bacteria. Finally, keep up with your six month dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings. This allows us to diagnose and begin treating gum disease before the oral health condition becomes unmanageable.
Gum Disease Treatments
If you are diagnosed with gum disease, there are a number of ways the Generations Dental Care team can renew your oral health. We offer a variety of periodontal therapies including:
- More frequent professional cleaning – in the early stages, this may be adequate to reverse any damage and renew oral health
- Scaling and root planing – scaling is the removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged tissue and root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent further buildup
- Antibiotic therapy – to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth we may administer oral or topical antibiotics