Get Professional Help For Your Gum Problems
Gum disease is a very common dental problem. By some estimates, more than half of the people in the United States have some degree of gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and can even endanger your overall health. At Dores Dental in Longmeadow, MA, Dr. James Dores provides safe, effective, and gentle treatment for your gum problems.
It All Comes Down To Bacteria
Everybody has whole colonies of bacteria in their mouths. That’s normal and natural, and generally doesn’t cause any problems. But there are certain types of bacteria that can and do cause problems. Those disease-causing bacteria combine with a protein in saliva to create a thin, sticky film called dental plaque. Plaque collects on the gumline around the teeth, holding the bacteria in close contact.
The bacteria in the plaque feed on the sugars in our food and beverages. They secrete acids that eat away at tooth enamel and irritate the gum tissues. When the gums become swollen, change color from a healthy pink to dark red, or bleed easily, the first stage of gum disease is present – gingivitis. If you’re seeing any of these signs, contact Dores Dental in Longmeadow, MA at 413-241-3995 to arrange an appointment.
Caught early, gingivitis is fairly easy to treat. Generally, a thorough dental cleaning that removes every trace of plaque is enough to allow the gums to heal. However, plaque begins to reform within 24 hours after being removed, which is why regular thorough brushing and flossing – and regular dental cleanings and examinations – are so important.
Things Get Serious
When gingivitis is left untreated, it usually progresses to the more advanced stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis. The gums can pull away from the teeth, allowing many more disease-causing bacteria to reach below the gumline. Deep pockets of infection can form which results in bad breath that nothing seems to help, among other things. Dental plaque turns into dental calculus, or tartar, that can’t possibly be removed by brushing.
The infection can attack the ligament that anchors and helps stabilize the tooth leading to the tooth becoming loose and even being lost.
Chronic gum disease has also been linked to a wide variety of serious health conditions:
- Heart disease
- Lung problems
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Various types of cancer
- Poor diabetes control
- Intestinal disorders
- Bone loss
For the sake of your teeth and your health, don’t let gum disease go untreated. The sooner the disease is cleared up, the less chance you run of developing serious long-term problems.
Gum Disease Treatment At Dores Dental
As you’ve read, early stage gum disease can usually be treated by a thorough dental cleaning. For more advanced cases, Dores Dental offers gum disease treatment in two ways:
- Scaling and root planing
Scaling is a deep-cleaning procedure, often performed under local anesthesia, during which Dr. James Dores uses instruments to carefully scrape away every trace of plaque and tartar. This deep cleaning addresses problems above and below the gum line. Dr. Dores will also smooth your tooth roots, removing any rough spots that make it easier for bacteria to attach.
- Antibiotic treatment
To help guard against future gum infections, Dr. Dores will place a time-release antibiotic called Arestin® beneath your gum line.
Take Action Now
If you’re seeing any signs of gum disease, call our Longmeadow, MA dental office today at 413-241-3995 to arrange an appointment.