Gum disease is a condition that is relatively common in the United States. In fact, it’s so common that over half of Americans have some form of it! It can be caused by many factors including poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, certain medications, and even genetics. If left untreated, this condition can lead to tooth loss, or even more serious health problems such as heart disease or diabetes. That’s why we want you to learn about the warning signs for gum disease and what steps you can take today to prevent it from happening in your life.
Please read below to discover more about gum disease. If you would like, you may then give us a call to ask any questions or express concerns about your own oral health. To schedule an appointment with our Louisville, KY office, please call today!
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs in three separate stages, each becoming more severe and destructive as the condition advances. As the disease begins to target the jawbone and roots below the gum tissue, the disease ultimately becomes irreversible, but can still be managed with professional treatment.
- Gum disease begins with gingivitis, a mild form of the condition. This process begins with the accumulation of plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar within only 24 hours. Tartar can only be removed with a professional cleaning from your dentist. As plaque and tartar accumulate, this causes your gums to become red, swollen, and tender as they pull away from your teeth. In this stage of the condition, you may notice gum bleeding and slight recession.
- Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. The symptoms are often more severe than in gingivitis because the bacteria causing gum disease have finally breached the periodontal ligament and destroyed the bone surrounding the teeth. The first sign of periodontitis is deep pockets forming around your teeth. These pockets can harbor even more germs than gingivitis and allow a space for bacteria to thrive out of reach from your toothbrush. Symptoms may include bleeding gums, tooth mobility, and bad breath.
- Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease where the tooth roots and supporting structures continue to be eroded and destroyed. This can eventually lead to tooth loss, as well as other serious health problems. It is therefore important for people with advanced periodontitis to seek treatment as soon as possible, in order to halt the spread of the disease and avoid further damage.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health problems if left untreated. The good news is it’s preventable with regular brushing and flossing at home. It may also be helpful to eliminate bad habits, such as smoking or using tobacco products. You can take control of your oral health by visiting a dentist regularly, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing daily. If you already have gum disease or notice any symptoms like redness or bleeding gums, visit us today so we can get started on treatment right away! We offer professional cleanings for patients with gingivitis and scaling and root planing for later stages of the condition. With options available for treating gum disease, you have more options than ever before to help keep your teeth healthy for life!
Scaling & Root Planing Treatment
Scaling and root planing, also known as “deep cleaning”, is a procedure that removes the tartar and plaque from underneath the gums. The scaling instrument scrubs the gum line to remove this build-up, while the root planing instrument smoothes down the root surfaces to create a clean base that will then allow for better gum tissue health. The removal of bacterial biofilm is essential to stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontitis in its second and third stages. As tartar builds up, it gradually destroys gum tissue and bone, causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Scaling and root planing removes the tartar that has built up around the base of the tooth where it attaches to the gum line. It also cleans any plaque from under the gums. This procedure is usually performed in a single two-hour session.
Fighting Gum Disease Together
Our mission at River Hills Dentistry is to ensure our patients, team members, and community are all positively impacted by our work; our patients enjoy healthier smiles and teeth, while our team members are able to fulfill their passion for improving the oral health of the community.
Our team wants to be a part of your fight against gum disease; if you notice any of the warning signs listed above, please call our office to schedule an appointment. Your smile is special to you, and that makes it special to us. Let us work together and fight gum disease from invading your smile; call today!