Don’t Risk Developing Gum Disease
Gum disease is a very common issue. Sometimes it doesn’t have any symptoms. Sometimes with gum disease you’ll have red, swollen gums.
The good news is that if it’s caught early enough, gum disease is completely reversible. At Gilbart Dental Care, we know what to look for and how to fix it. With routine twice-yearly exams, we can keep your gums healthy.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, starts with bacteria in the mouth. A colorless film called plaque forms on your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can help keep plaque at bay but sometimes you can’t get it all. If plaque is allowed to remain, it will form tartar, a hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional.
The earliest type of gum disease that can develop is called gingivitis. With gingivitis, your gums can get red and swollen and may bleed easily. Or course, some people can develop gingivitis without these symptoms. If we detect gingivitis, we can usually clear it up with a cleaning.
Since gum disease can sometimes have no symptoms, twice-yearly dental exams are important. During a routine exam, our dentists know what to look for before it becomes a problem that is harder and more expensive to treat.
The more severe type of gum disease is called periodontitis. With periodontitis, your gums start to pull away from your teeth and form pockets that become infected. The symptoms of periodontitis can include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Red, swollen, and tender gums
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Sores in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way dentures fit
If periodontitis is left untreated, eventually the connective tissue that supports the teeth will be destroyed.
What Happens In A Routine Exam
When you come in for your exam, we will use a probe to measure the depths of the pockets around all of your teeth. For healthy gums, the normal pocket depth is 1-3 millimeters. The deeper the pockets get, the more advanced the disease.
We’ll take digital X-rays and panoramic images. They will help us get a good idea of your current dental situation. We will also perform an oral cancer screening and check to see if there has been any bone loss due to periodontal disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
There are some things you can do to prevent gum disease in the first place. Here are some steps you can take at home to lessen your chances of developing gum disease.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with an ADA-recommended fluoride toothpaste. You can also brush after meals since that helps remove food debris from between your teeth.
- Floss daily. Sometimes there are areas in the mouth that a toothbrush just can’t reach. Flossing gets into those little nooks and crannies between teeth. Flossing is particularly important for cleaning under and around bridges or crowns. We can demonstrate how to do that during your exam.
- See your dentist regularly. Gum disease can happen sometimes without any symptoms. Because of that, you might not know you have it. Since we know what to look for, we can catch it earlier. The earlier it’s caught, the better the chances of getting rid of it.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is one of the main causes of severe gum disease. It weakens your body’s immune system, which makes it harder to fight off gum infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco users are two times likelier to develop gum disease compared to those who don’t use tobacco.
Treating Gum Disease
We may start with a deep cleaning below the gumline. This is called scaling and root planing. Scaling scrapes all the plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar from your teeth and root surfaces.
Root planing smoothes all the rough areas on your roots’ surfaces. This keeps bacteria, plaque, and tartar from getting underneath the gumline again.
After Gum Disease Treatment
Once you’ve had your mouth cleared of gum disease, you might think it’s gone for good. Unfortunately, gum disease can come back. That’s why we urge you to keep making regular dental visits and to continue practicing good oral hygiene at home.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. You can use our online form to make an appointment or call us at one of our offices: