- December 28, 2015
Taking care of your gums may not be high on your list of priorities, but maybe it should be. Across the United States, 47.2 percent of adults have periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that affects every part of your mouth. If left untreated, this can cause your teeth to come loose or even fall out. When you consider that nearly half of American adults have advanced gum disease, it should be apparent that many people have no idea that they have this condition much less what kind of treatment they need.
Thankfully, if you live near Chicago or Shorewood, you can visit Shorewood Family Dental Care for preventive care and, if needed, non-surgical gum disease treatment.
Knowing The Signs
If you’ve ever been asked about your flossing habits by a dentist or hygienist, it’s because we already have a good idea what the answer is. When you come for a routine cleaning or exam, we know the signs that you may have gum disease.
Fortunately, we can spot it during the early stages. By treating your gum disease, you can avoid some the problems that come with more advanced periodontal disease.
To better understand what gum disease is, you need to understand how it occurs. Gum disease starts with the bacteria that live inside your mouth. If the bacteria are not removed regularly (with brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings), they cause can an inflammation of your gum tissue. This inflammation is what makes gum disease so problematic for so many people.
The American Academy of Periodontology lists several symptoms of gum disease on its website. In the early stages, your gums may be tender, swollen, or red. Your gums may bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth. In some case, even hard foods can cause your gums to bleed.
As your gum disease becomes more severe, your gums may start to recede. This is when your gums pull away from your teeth. When this happens, pockets can form inside your gums. Bacteria can use these pockets to build plaque and tartar in places you can’t reach with a toothbrush or dental floss.
This is when the more serious problems can begin.
Don’t Lose Your Teeth By Ignoring Your Gums
If you don’t floss daily and you don’t visit the dentist for routine care, what is the real risk? Let’s consider what happens if you don’t receive any treatment for your gum disease.
As more tissue is infected, you may notice pus between your teeth and gums. This may explain the persistent bad breath and the sores in your mouth, too.
Your gums play a vital role in keeping your teeth firmly in place. As gum tissue is weakened by disease, your teeth can start to feel loose. This can change the way your teeth fit together when you bite down. This can change the force of your bite for the worse, making it more difficult to eat foods that you enjoy.
If you have dentures, gum disease can change how they fit inside your mouth. If you don’t have dentures, you may need them when your teeth become so loose that they start falling out.
We don’t want any of our patients to experience what we described above. We want you to keep your teeth for a lifetime, and that’s why gum disease prevention and treatment is important to us, too.
Protecting Your Gums
How can you avoid periodontal disease? Prevention is always the best approach. That’s why we encourage you to brush your teeth twice a day every day and to floss daily. Regular cleanings in our dentist office in Shorewood helps us keep an eye your gum health, too.
If we see the signs of early gum disease, we can take steps to reverse it. We also can explain ways to improve your flossing technique.
If we see signs of more advanced gum disease, we can begin a higher level of treatment. We offer non-surgical gum disease treatment in our office. By using lasers, your treatment is less painful, yet still effective. With our lasers, we “vaporize” your infected gum tissue instead of cutting it out. This reduces bleeding during your procedure, and it makes your recovery faster, too.
Because the laser seals your healthy tissue, it also reduces your risk of reinfection. After your treatment, you just need to take the preventive steps to keep your gums healthy.
If you suspect you may have advanced gum disease (as nearly half of American adults do), please schedule a visit to Shorewood Family Dental Care. Our team will be happy to examine you and recommend the steps to treat your infection.
To make your appointment, call 815-768-1615 or fill out our online form.