February 16, 2019
Did you know that nearly half of American adults have mild, moderate, or severe gum disease? Don’t be fooled by the name. It not only affects your gums, but your oral and overall health as well. Without intervention, gum disease can cause tooth loss and damage to your supporting tissue and bone. Plus, it has been linked to medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. But what exactly is gum disease? How do you know if you have it? Now is the perfect time to learn about gum disease therapy in Kernersville and how to prevent this common condition. After all, February is Gum Disease Awareness Month!
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that directly affects your gums. It is caused by the bacteria that live in plaque, a white, sticky film that forms on your teeth throughout the day. If plaque is not removed, it can collect near the gumline, where the bacteria produce acids that irritate your gums. Over time, the connective tissue between your teeth and gums can become destroyed by these acids, causing the gums to separate from the teeth and instability in your teeth’s supporting tissue and bone.
What are the common signs of gum disease?
Some commons signs that indicate gum disease include the following:
- Red, swollen gums.
- Gums that bleed easily during brushing.
- Receding gums.
- Consistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.
- Pus in between teeth.
- Changes in your bite.
- Loose or shifting permanent teeth.
If you notice these symptoms, contact your dentist to begin periodontal therapy in Kernersville right away.
How is gum disease treated?
If caught early enough, the ill effects of gum disease can be reversed with a routine dental cleaning. However, more intrusive treatment may be needed if you’ve already entered the more advanced stages of gum disease. Your dentist may need to perform scaling, a non-surgical procedure in which they clean deep to remove built-up plaque and trapped food particles. Next, planing smooths the rough surfaces of your tooth’s root to prevent future buildup. Even more advanced cases could require surgical intervention to stop potential bone or tooth loss.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
The good news is that gum disease is preventable! You can avoid all the results of gum disease just by practicing these healthy oral habits:
- Brushing at least twice a day.
- Flossing at least once a day.
- Visiting the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
- Replacing your toothbrush every 3–4 months or when the bristles become worn (whichever comes first).
- Avoiding, or better yet quitting, smoking.
By becoming more aware of gum disease—its symptoms, treatment, and prevention—you can take the necessary steps toward oral health. If you have gum disease already, get the treatment you need. Then you can make lifestyle changes that will keep your teeth and gums safe from this condition in the future. Taking an active role in your oral health can help you ensure that your natural smile can be happy and healthy for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Veronica Walker has been practicing dentistry for over thirty years in the Kernersville area, giving her the experience and knowledge necessary to help her patients treat and avoid gum disease. Her son, Dr. Zack Walker, has recently joined her practice, enabling them to help even more patients. To schedule an appointment with either of them, you can call (336) 993-3727 or click here.
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