Gum disease affects millions of Americans each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of the American population ages 30 and above suffer from periodontitis. Unfortunately, if gum disease isn’t treated right away, it will inevitably lead to tooth loss. With appropriate gum disease treatment in Issaquah, tooth loss doesn’t have to happen. How does gum disease occur, and what can you do to treat it?
The most obvious sign of gum disease is the inflammation of your gum tissues. Inflammation is your immune system’s way of protecting yourself against infection. You should take this as your cue to visit your dentist.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It’s reversible and doesn’t do much damage, but if you don’t receive gum disease, it will slowly progress and wreak havoc in your mouth. It starts with plaque that lingers on your teeth.
When gingivitis isn’t treated, the toxins from bacterial plaque will not only affect your gum tissues but will also destroy the ligaments and bone that support your teeth. In other words, the infection isn’t concentrated in your gums alone.
As the disease progresses, expect that the infection will spread to nearby tissues. Almost always, the end result is tooth loss. If gingivitis is detected and treated early, it will not have a chance to advance into periodontal disease.
When you partner with your dentist and religiously follow the instructions given to you, you will be able to reverse gingivitis. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), brushing and flossing daily and regular dental visits will help restore your oral health back to normal.
Your oral care routine plays a significant role in fighting gingivitis, so you should make sure the techniques you are using are proper and the products you use suit you best. If you’re not comfortable with flossing, you can use water flossers instead. Some mouthwashes are specially formulated for patients with gingivitis. You just have to swish it around your mouth for a good 60 seconds.
Dentists usually choose a more conservative approach for gum disease treatment. Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment wherein your dentist scrapes and removes plaque and hardened tartar from the surfaces of your teeth – including the root surfaces. It may take more than a single visit to complete scaling and root planing.
For patients who have serious periodontitis, your periodontist may recommend a pocket reduction procedure. This is ideal if the gum tissues don’t fit snugly around your teeth even after scaling and root planing. In this procedure, your gum tissues are folded back to remove the bacteria and smoothen damaged bone. After that, the gum tissues will be reattached to the healthy bone.
Acting fast can help save your teeth and gums, which is why you must be familiar with the signs and symptoms of gum disease. When the infection is caught early, it may still be reversed. At Apex Dental Care, your oral health is our top priority. For questions and inquiries, don’t hesitate to call us for more information.
The APEX Dental Care team can’t wait to see you!