It is estimated that approximately half of American adults are suffering from gum disease in some form. This may not seem that alarming except when you consider that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults over 30 years old.
Periodontal disease has also been linked with other health concerns in the body such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This is because the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel through your bloodstream to other areas of your body.
With this research in mind, there has never been a more important time to take care of your oral health, which means that you’re also looking out for your overall health and well being.
What Is Gum Disease?
Much like the foundation for your home, your gums are the foundation for your teeth – along with your jawbone, which houses the roots of your teeth.
Gum disease occurs when excessive plaque buildup becomes tartar and it causes your gums to separate from your teeth. This allows dangerous bacteria below your gum line, causing the infection. If the infection is left untreated, it will result in tooth loss.
Some of the early signs of gum disease to be aware of are:
- Gums that appear red, irritated, or swollen
- Chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Gum recession that can cause sensitivity
- Bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
There is good news when you detect gingivitis (the early stage of periodontal disease) early on. It can often be successfully treated with an improved home care routine and a thorough cleaning with your hygienist. This is why consistent visits every six months with Dr. Chen are so important; we screen you for gum disease at every checkup.
Periodontitis, which is the advanced stage of gum disease, requires a more thorough deep cleaning that extends below the gum line and removes the buildup causing your infection. This type of cleaning is called scaling and root planing. Antibiotic therapy may also be required to fight the infection, and surgery might be recommended in more severe cases.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for gum disease. However, your condition can be successfully managed with additional cleanings and regular checkups throughout the year combined with a diligent home care routine.
Contact Ocean Smiles Family Dentistry
At Ocean Smiles Family Dentistry, our goal is to help you avoid gum disease in the first place. However, if you find yourself dealing with gum disease, Dr. Chen is well equipped to help.
Give us a call today to schedule your next cleaning and checkup!