Many people don’t realize this, but gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, over half of all Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. The good news is that gum disease is highly treatable, and usually reversible if caught in the early stages. Here’s what you need to know about gum disease and how to treat it.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria in plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that constantly forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a professional cleansing at your dentist’s office.
If plaque and tartar are not removed, they will continue to irritate your gums, causing them to become inflamed. When your gums start to recede away from the teeth, swell or bleed, it can be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. While gingivitis is not yet permanent damage, it’s important to not let it go untreated to prevent it from progressing into periodontitis. Our dental team at The Smile Lounge offers receding gum treatment at our clinic in Grand Prairie to help improve your gum health.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. The bacteria has now caused an infection within the gum tissue itself, as well as the bone that supports your teeth. This can lead to gum recession and the loosening of teeth which can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis can also cause bad breath due to the bacteria in your mouth. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist right away for treatment.
Treatment for gingivitis usually involves a professional cleaning at your dentist’s office in grand prairie, to remove the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Your Smile Lounge dentist may also recommend changes to your oral hygiene routines, such as using mouthwash or toothpaste containing fluoride or antibacterial agents. For more severe cases of periodontitis, treatment may involve antibiotics to clear the infection, as well as routine dental deep cleanings and possible surgery to repair damage to the gums and bone supporting your teeth.
Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. However, it’s also highly treatable in its early stages. If you think you might have gum disease, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for an evaluation and treatment plan. With periodontal cleanings and proper oral care, you can keep your smile healthy for years to come!