Gum Disease Therapy in Kernersville
Your periodontal (gum) health is closely tied to your general well-being. Healthy gums promote a healthy body, and vice versa. That may be bad news for the 50% of the US population with gum disease, a chronic inflammatory condition that leads to tooth loss and a host of other health issues. Dr. Veronica S. Walker provides gum disease therapy in Kernersville to help you benefit from better oral health for a clean smile that lasts a lifetime.
Gum Disease: A Brief Overview
Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the biofilm that forms on the surface of your teeth throughout the day. When sufficient oral hygiene practices (i.e. brushing and flossing) are not performed, the bacteria can make a home in the space between the gums and the teeth -- deep areas of infection we call “periodontal pockets.”
Research is growing regarding the impact gum disease has on overall health. We know it is significant. Untreated gum disease has been linked to…
- Tooth loss
- Heart conditions: Cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure
- Respiratory problems: COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pneumonia
- Uncontrolled blood glucose levels and diabetes
- Certain types of cancer
- Memory loss
- And other health conditions
Early detection and prompt and frequent treatment of gum disease are important for maintaining positive oral and overall health.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs most frequently in older patients. Smokers, people with poor nutrition, and those who take certain medications are also at a higher risk of developing gum disease.
Some of the indicators of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen, and/or tender gums
- Gum recession (when the gums appear to be pulling away from the teeth)
- Teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, and air
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loose or shifting teeth
Gum Disease Treatment Options
There are nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for gum disease. The severity of the condition, indicated by the depth of the periodontal pockets, will determine the type of treatment recommended for you.
In the beginning, gum disease (known as “gingivitis” at this stage) can be reversed with improved hygiene at home and regular visits to the dentist’s office. After the periodontal pockets have reached a depth of about 5 millimeters, though, scaling and root planning is usually recommended. Also known as a deep cleaning, this is a treatment option in which your dentist or hygienist uses special tools to clean above and below the gum line, removing harmful bacteria and smoothing the root’s surface to reduce the risk of further infection. Several deep cleanings may be required for full healing.
For the most severe cases of periodontal disease (periodontitis), nonsurgical treatment methods are often not enough to eradicate the infection. Gingival flap surgery performed by a periodontist may be recommended.
Whichever treatment is right for you, getting periodontal therapy as soon as possible is important for your oral and overall health.
Get Serious About Gum Health
If you are concerned about your risk for gum disease, or if it’s just been awhile since you visited the dentist for a checkup and cleaning, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist in Kernersville. Schedule an appointment for high quality preventive dentistry with Dr. Walker today!