As World Oral Health Day Approaches on March 20th, we’d like to shine a spotlight on the dangers of gum disease. This dangerous but often underdiagnosed condition has serious consequences for your oral health, of course, but your general well being as well.
At Edgewood Dental Care, we take periodontal disease seriously. We have the tools and expertise to diagnose your gum problems and nip them in the bud.
To schedule an appointment at our Edgewood, KY office, call 859-474-7830.
Bacteria Cause Inflammation
When bacteria and plaque build up around and underneath your gumline, they will cause the inflammation characteristic of periodontal disease. Early-stage disease is called gingivitis, and at this point you likely will not even notice any symptoms. Left untreated, gingivitis will not go away. It will worsen into late-stage disease, or periodontitis.
The potential consequences of periodontitis are dire. You may lose teeth — in fact, more people lose teeth to gum problems than to tooth decay.
Research continues into the link between gum inflammation and systemic disease, but one thing is clear: there are connections on several fronts.
- People with periodontal disease have an increased likelihood of developing heart disease. And gum problems may exacerbate existing cardiovascular problems.
- Diabetes is a leading risk factor for periodontal problems, likely because diabetics are at a higher risk for infection in general. And gum inflammation appears to make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar, which puts them at a high risk for complications.
- Periodontal disease may also be associated with osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer, though research is ongoing.
Be Aware of Your Risk
Anyone can have periodontal disease, and many people do — over half of Americans over the age of thirty, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But certain factors put you at an increased risk.
- Tobacco use is one of the biggest risk factors for gum infection. Tobacco users’ disease tends to be resistant to treatment.
- The older you are, the more likely you are to have gum disease.
- Diabetes increases your chance of developing gum inflammation.
- Teeth grinding may wear down the gums and make them open to infection.
- Periodontal disease runs in families.
- Stress may make you less able to fight off infection.
Know Your Symptoms
Periodontal disease symptoms will vary from person to person. In early-stage disease, you may not notice symptoms at all. But as the disease progresses, you may experience:
- Tender, swollen gums that bleed easily.
- Teeth separating from the gums.
- Bad breath that won’t go away.
- Sores or pus in your mouth.
- A change in your bite.
- Teeth that are loose or fall out.
Treatments That Work
Ideally, gum inflammation is caught very early on. In that case, it is typically reversible with dental cleanings and good oral hygiene at home. If your disease is more severe, we have the following treatments available.
- Our LANAP laser removes diseased tissue with minimal pain and bleeding.
- Scaling and root planing is a deep-cleaning technique performed under local anesthesia.
- Our Diode laser eliminates plaque, tartar, and bacteria that’s accumulated in infected gum pockets.
- Arestin® is an antibiotic that we put into infected gum pockets. We pair it with a probiotic to preserve beneficial oral bacteria.
The earlier gum disease is detected, the easier it is to treat. So regular cleanings and exams are essential. Schedule an appointment at Edgewood Dental Care today. You may reach us online or call our Edgewood, KY office at 859-474-7830.