Don’t Let Gum Disease Ruin Your Smile
- July 1, 2017
Chew on these facts about gum disease:
- Gum disease affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- For Americans aged 65 and up, the incidence rate jumps to an astonishing 70.1%
- Gum disease is the most common reason for adult tooth loss
And another: gum disease often manifests few, if any, symptoms in the early stages. This is just one of many reasons why it’s vitally important for you to visit Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology for checkups twice every year. The earlier periodontal disease is caught, the easier it is to treat.
Our practice has a 38-year history of providing stellar dental care to Peabody, Boxford, Salem, Manchester, Danvers, and surrounding communities. You, the patient, benefit from our doctors’ deep experience combined with our use of the most cutting-edge dental techniques and technologies. We offer IV sedation not only for more complicated surgeries, but for any procedure if the patient needs help to relieve his or her anxiety.
Call Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology at (978) 278-1760 to schedule an appointment.
What Is Gum Disease?
When you have gum disease, or periodontal disease, the tissues around your teeth become infected. Even if you have no cavities and believe you are the picture of perfect oral health, you may have periodontal disease and not realize anything is amiss. Gingivitis, the mildest form, can be completely cured by a thorough dental cleaning and meticulous brushing and flossing at home. Left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and become periodontitis, or advanced gum disease. Periodontitis takes on many unsavory forms, including:
- Chronic periodontitis, which tends to progress slowly, but eventually results in bone and tissue loss
- Aggressive periodontitis, which, true to its name, is fast-developing, highly destructive, and leads to rapid loss of bone and tissue
- Periodontitis as a symptom of diabetes, respiratory disease, or heart disease
- Necrotizing periodontal disease, which most commonly afflicts people with conditions that weaken the immune system
Gum Disease Warning Signs and Symptoms
As stated above, early-stage gingivitis does not necessarily come with any obvious symptoms. But eventually, the problems will begin:
- Gums that are tender, swollen, and bleed easily (particularly while flossing, brushing, or eating certain foods)
- Gums that seem to retract from the teeth
- Sores, or even pus, in your mouth
- Teeth that are loose or seem to have moved in the mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- A change in your bite
If you exhibit any of these symptoms, call Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology immediately at (978) 278-1760 to book an examination and treatment plan.
What Can I Do to Prevent Gum Disease?
The best “treatment” for periodontal problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are a few ways to keep your gums healthy:
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly
- Use mouthwash
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco
- Embrace a healthy diet
- Try to minimize stress in your life
- Avoid grinding or clenching teeth
- Be aware of other risk factors, including:
- Certain medications and diseases
- Pregnancy and hormonal changes
- Crooked or uneven teeth (which can be difficult to brush well)
- And, of course, visit Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology for your regular checkups.
So You Have Gum Disease. Now What?
Treatment for periodontal disease varies widely depending on its severity and progression. Gingivitis is the easiest to manage, generally requiring just a good cleaning by the dentist and diligent follow-up care (brushing, flossing, mouthwash) at home. For more advanced cases, there are a number of options, both nonsurgical and surgical.
- Scaling and root planing: tartar and plaque are removed from above and below the gum line, and rough spots at the root of the tooth are smoothed out.
- Gingivectomy surgery: tartar is removed from beneath the gums, diseased tissue removed, and damaged bone may be repaired. Gums are fitted tightly around the tooth, giving disease-causing bacteria little room to hide and grow.
- Bone grafts utilize fragments of healthy (or synthetic) bone to replace diseased bone and serve as a starting point for future growth.
- Soft tissue grafts: healthy tissue, often taken from the roof of the mouth, is added to places where the gums have receded or become too thin.
If you live in the Peabody area and have noticed any of the warning signs of gum disease — or if you have not but are due for a checkup — contact Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology immediately. You can call us at (978) 278-1760 or fill out our web form.