How often do you think about the health of your gums? Most people assume their gums are healthy and spend time on more pressing problems. But did you know that your gums are the foundation to healthy teeth and more importantly your physical health. Many people believe that it is normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss, but this is an early sign of gum disease.
Your gums are made of soft skin designed to cover the bones of your teeth. The tissue forms a tight seal around your teeth to support the bones and provide a barrier to bacteria. It is imperative to take good care of your gums by brushing after meals and flossing daily to remove food particles between and around your teeth, and to prevent the formation of dental plaque.
If plaque is not removed, it can release toxins that irritate and inflame the gum tissue, causing a condition called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease, an infection of the gums that slowly and painlessly destroys the gums and bones around your teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Studies now show that if your gums are healthy, you are less likely to suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, dementia, and pregnancy complications.
Gum disease is a common threat for many individuals, and as we age, our risk becomes greater. Periodontal disease is often "silent" in nature and can progress unnoticed creating irreversible destruction. Fortunately, regular check-ups can lead to early detection.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The most important factor in treating periodontal disease is receiving prompt treatment. Improved home dental hygiene alone will not be enough to reverse this infection. A deeper cleaning, also known as scaling and root planning (SRP) is the recommended treatment method. Scaling and root planning is a careful cleaning where your hygienist uses special instruments to clean the surfaces of your teeth below the gum tissues. These instruments are specifically designed to clean and smooth the root surfaces to discourage further buildup of plaque and bacteria. Depending on the severity of the periodontal infection, sometimes scaling and root planning is followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery of antibiotics. Typically, this type of treatment is not associated with much discomfort, but we do offer local anesthesia and numbing gels as needed for your comfort.
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
The great news is periodontal disease is 100% preventable. Practicing excellent home oral hygiene is just one step in prevention, it is also very important to visit your dentist regularly. While most people should see the dentist every six months, if you have already had gum disease, we recommended you visit the dentist more frequently. We understand that some areas are harder to reach and keep clean, that is why we have your back here at Premier Valley Dental. During your professional cleaning appointments, we complete a thorough periodontal exam that can help detect early stages of gum disease and prevent its progression. We understand the importance of optimal oral health and we strive to help all patients maintain a healthy, attractive, and long-lasting smile.
If you are interested in discussing gum disease or believe if you need treatment, we welcome you to contact Premier Valley Dental at (602) 279-1641