Greensboro, NC patients search for treatments and steps to stop gum disease
Gum disease is present in nearly half of adults over 30 . The number increases with age as approximately 70 percent of patients over 65 have some form of periodontal disease. The signs could be lurking beneath your beautiful smile. In Greensboro, NC, Dr. Steven Hatcher and his team at Triad Dentistry provide gum disease treatments to protect the health of the oral cavity.
The gums are the pink supportive tissues at the base of the teeth. You probably do not think of them much when smiling, eating, or brushing your teeth, but the health of your gums is an important piece of your overall oral health. When the gums are healthy, they are pink in color. Periodontal disease starts with small signs such as red, swollen gums. When allowed to spread, the disease becomes more destructive and can cause tooth loss.
Gum disease is caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth. Plaque that is not removed with regular brushing and flossing spreads as bacteria into the gums. This may start as gingivitis with red, inflamed gums. Left untreated, periodontal disease leads to dental and overall health issues. Gingivitis becomes periodontitis in which the gums recede and cause pockets around the teeth, leading to infections. Untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause tooth loss.
Steps to avoid gum disease
Periodontal disease has serious consequences, but it can be avoided. Preventing gum disease is the ideal approach. Good oral health practices and regular dental visits help maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Your dental team at Triad Dentistry provides education on proper home care to improve your oral health. Good dental habits to protect the health of your gums may include:
- Brush your teeth in the morning and at night for two minutes each time. If possible, brush after meals.
- Floss your teeth daily to remove food particles that have accumulated between the teeth.
- Use mouthwash or an oral irrigator daily. This helps remove particles along the gumline or in spaces that brushing and flossing may miss.
- Replace your toothbrush at least every six months. Bent or broken bristles do not effectively clean the teeth and remove plaque.
- Visit your dentist twice per year, or as recommended, for routine cleanings.
Regular dental appointments are an important part of maintaining your oral health and avoiding gum disease. Unless otherwise directed, these visits are scheduled every six months. This ensures optimal health. If problems do arise in this short time, they are generally small and can be handled quickly and effectively. If signs of periodontal disease develop, the condition is treated before it can escalate.
Steps to stop or treat gum disease
Even with the best intentions and oral care, gum disease may occur. Certain drugs, conditions, or lifestyle habits can make patients more susceptible to periodontal problems. If you notice symptoms of gum disease, contact your dental professional for an appointment. In the initial stages, gum disease is reversible. In later stages, treatments are available to control the disease and prevent it from causing more damage. The earlier the disease is caught and addressed, the better the outcome.
The treatment used depends on your symptoms and the stage of gum disease. Gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease, is reversible. The bone and connective tissues are intact. The symptoms can often be treated with a deep dental cleaning and maintaining good oral habits at home. The deep cleaning removes built-up plaque, tartar, and bacteria, and prevents the condition from spreading. A hygienist cleans the teeth, removing tartar above and below the gumline. Irregularities in the tooth can be smoothed out so plaque cannot continue to deposit. Antibiotics may help treat any lingering gum infection. Your dental team helps stop gum disease in its tracks, keeping it from causing additional damage.
Patients with advanced stages of gum disease can still be treated. However, some damage may not be reversible. Visiting your dentist and maintaining good oral practices are important to keep the damage from spreading.
Gum disease can be avoided and stopped. Let Dr. Hatcher and the team at Triad Dentistry help protect the health of your smile. Contact our Greensboro, NC office for your dental appointment. Call (336) 383-1482.