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How Dentists Treat Gum Disease

how dentists treat gum disease

Today, we’d like to talk about an essential aspect of dental health: gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects the tissues surrounding the teeth. It is primarily caused by plaque buildup — leading to inflammation and gum infection.

Fortunately, there are various treatment methods available to manage gum disease. By understanding gum disease and its potential impact on your oral health, you can take proactive steps to maintain a healthy smile.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum or periodontal disease is a common dental condition affecting the tissues and the bone supporting the teeth. It is primarily caused by inadequate brushing and flossing, which leads to the accumulation and hardening of plaque, a sticky bacterial film on the teeth. 

As this condition progresses, it can result in symptoms like sore and bleeding gums, difficulties in chewing, and, in severe cases, tooth loss. It is important to address gum disease promptly to maintain oral health and prevent further complications.

Gum Disease and Your Health

The link between oral health and overall health is profound and goes beyond just the mouth. Extensive research has shown that gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.

This is because the bacteria and inflammation in the gums can spread throughout the body, affecting other organs and systems. Taking care of your gum health is important for maintaining a healthy smile, safeguarding your overall well-being, and reducing the risk of developing these serious health conditions.

Causes of Severe Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is a progressive condition that starts with the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. If left untreated, it can destroy the tissues surrounding your teeth, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.

There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing periodontitis. Poor oral hygiene practices, such as inadequate brushing and flossing, can contribute to the buildup of plaque, which in turn can lead to gum disease.

Smoking or tobacco use is considered one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. It not only increases the chances of developing periodontitis but also lowers the success rate of treatment.

Genetic susceptibility also plays a role in determining a patient’s predisposition to severe gum disease. Some people are more prone to developing gum disease due to their genetic makeup.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The symptoms of gum disease can often be subtle, but they should never be ignored. It’s important to stay vigilant and pay attention to any changes in your oral health. Some signs to watch out for include:

Red, swollen, or tender gums: If your gums appear redder than usual, feel tender to the touch, or are swollen, it could be an early indication of gum disease.

Bleeding while brushing or flossing: If you notice blood on your toothbrush or dental floss after brushing or flossing, it may be a sign of gum disease. Healthy gums should not bleed easily.

Receding gums: Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth roots. This can be a sign of gum disease and should be addressed promptly.

Persistent bad breath: Chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away even with regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use can be a symptom of gum disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can produce foul-smelling odors.

Loose or shifting teeth: As gum disease progresses, it can cause the supporting structures of the teeth to weaken. This may lead to loose or shifting teeth, which should be taken seriously.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to contact our office as soon as possible for an examination and appropriate treatment. Early detection and intervention can help prevent further damage and maintain oral health.

Gum Disease Treatment in Princeton, NJ

At Canal Vista Family Dentistry, we offer a range of treatments for gum disease, depending on the severity of the condition.

Deep Cleaning: This is often the first line of treatment involving scaling and root planing. Scaling removes tartar, bacteria, and viruses from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums. Planing smooths the root surfaces, discouraging further buildup of tartar and bacteria, and stimulates the gums to reattach to the teeth.

Medications: In some cases, we recommend specific medications to help treat gum disease. These could include prescription antimicrobial mouthwash, antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics, or enzyme suppressants.

Surgical Treatments: For advanced cases of gum disease, surgical treatments such as flap surgery or bone and tissue grafts might be necessary.

Reserve Your Consultation

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bestandji today at Canal Vista Family Dentistry in Princeton, NJ, to ensure your gums are as healthy as they can be!

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