The health of your gums is just as important as the health of your teeth. Periodontal issues like periodontitis, or gum disease, can significantly impact your oral health as well. At Value Dental Centers Tempe in Tempe, AZ, we educate our patients on the importance of periodontal health and provide the tools to prevent gum disease. With regular dental exams, we can detect periodontitis in its earliest stages, making it easier to treat and manage.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the result of a bacterial infection of the gums. When plaque and tartar are not properly removed through regular dental cleanings, the surplus of bacteria creates pockets in the gums. Bacteria thrive in these pockets, wreaking havoc on your periodontal health.
When left untreated, your gums may begin to recede, exposing your tooth roots. This is not only damaging to your gums, but is damaging to your teeth as well. While earlier stages can be treated with a deep cleaning, more advanced stages of gum disease may require surgery to reattach the gums.
Certain factors put you at a greater risk of developing gum disease, regardless of your oral hygiene practices. Risk factors of gum disease include:
- Your family history and genetics
- Smoking cigarettes and/or use of other tobacco products
- A diet that is high in sugar and processed foods
- Hormonal changes in females, and age in both genders
- Side effects of certain medications such as dry mouth
- Illnesses or diseases that compromise your immune system
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Early signs of gum disease are easily ignored. Very red, inflamed gums is the first sign of gingivitis. If your gums look red or swollen, it is important to schedule a periodontal checkup as soon as possible. We can thoroughly clean your teeth and prescribe an antibiotic to eliminate the infection. If you experience any of the following symptoms, your gum disease may be more advanced and more extensive treatment may be required:
- Significant amount of bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash
- Chewing food is painful
- Sensitivity in a single tooth or multiple teeth
- The feeling that one or more of your teeth is loose
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Gingivitis is easily treated with a dental cleaning and antibiotics. This process removes any existing bacteria and gets rid of the infection. Your dentist can then provide you with information on caring for your teeth and gums at home to help manage the disease.
As gum disease advances, more extensive treatments may be required. Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning to remove large plaque and tartar deposits. We also typically prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
Once you have been diagnosed with gum disease, we typically recommend you schedule more frequent dental exams and cleanings. Some patients may require three to four appointments per year. These added visits will help maintain your periodontal health and prevent further advancement of the condition.
Are there Benefits to Gum Disease Treatments?
Treating gum disease helps to preserve your natural teeth. Gum disease can result in tooth loss, which then requires more costly restorative treatments. Your periodontal health is also closely tied to your overall health. Gum disease has been linked to other serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Treating gum disease can prevent the development of such conditions.
Schedule Your Periodontal Appointment
If you have notice your gums look more red or a little swollen, contact Value Dental Centers Tempe today to schedule a periodontal checkup.