Treating Gum Disease Before It’s Too Late!
We often talk about preventive dentistry and the benefits of keeping up with your teeth and gums in-between your visits to our Longmeadow dental office. But we don’t talk enough about the benefits of catching things early, should any problematic issues arise and pose a threat to your oral health.
One issue that we often help patients work through, here at Dores Dental, is gum disease.
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. You may have it if you are prone to bleeding during your teeth-brushing and flossing sessions.
Truth be told, this condition is increasingly common, and most adults in this country will have experienced some level of gum disease in their lifetime. The unfortunate thing is that people don’t always come in for treatment because they don’t feel enough pain to alert them to the fact that something is wrong.
Gum disease starts inauspiciously when the bacteria contained plaque begins to irritate the soft tissues that surround your pearly whites. As we mentioned, you may notice that your gums are red and swollen, or that they bleed easily. These signs characterize the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis. If you aren’t careful, things can get out of hand.
Undiagnosed (or untreated) gingivitis inevitably advances to periodontitis. At this nasty stage, your gums will begin to pull away from your teeth and form pockets where more bacteria can gather. This hidden bacteria will, in turn, ravage your bone and soft tissues. In the end, your teeth start to fall out, because there is no support system left to hold them in place. Sounds horrific, right? It is! Most adult tooth loss in the U.S. happens as the result of gum disease. But that does not have to be your fate.
Fortunately, early stage gum disease is completely reversible. No significant damage will have been done yet, so your regular professional teeth cleanings and heightened oral hygiene practices at home ought to be all it takes to restore your gums to a healthy, happy state.
That said, more advanced cases of gum disease usually require further measures. It all depends on what you are dealing with.
We may recommend deep cleaning (also known as “scaling and root planing”), the use of prescription antibiotics, and specific oral hygiene tools to treat advanced gum disease. Don’t worry, scaling and planing is much like the regular cleanings that you are used to. However, we will go deeper to also scrape away bacteria and toxins from the surfaces of the tooth roots.
We will also use special dental tools to polish the root surfaces in order to make it harder for bacteria to ever hide in those spaces.
In the event that these more conservative therapies fail to restore health to your gums, We may refer you for a pocket reduction surgery.
As we started out by saying, it is always in your best interest to keep regular appointments for dental checkups so that we can stay in-tune with your needs. Gum disease that is detected and treated early, won’t have any long-lasting impact on your life. The same can not be said for gum disease that is allowed to run wild!
Isn’t it about time to set-up your next appointment at Dores Dental of Longmeadow, MA? Contact us now to make it happen!