As a general dentist, we help prevent all types of oral health issues in our office. The goal of our team is to keep our patients in the best possible health by preventing oral disease and treating it if it occurs. Gum disease is a major health issue that can impact people of all ages. By catching it early, we can provide treatment that is fast and comfortable.
Many people are unaware of the importance that gum health plays in their overall health. In order for teeth and their roots to stay protected gums need to remain in place. Gums serve as a protective barrier against bacteria by covering sensitive areas in the mouth. Additionally, gums hold teeth in place and when they recede or become unhealthy the teeth can fall out.
The initial stages of gum disease are uncomfortable but may not be painful. This leaves a lot of people undiagnosed and prevents them from getting treatment. As a general dentist, we can identify signs of gum disease during routine teeth cleanings, which ensures that people can get treatment before the disease starts to cause pain.
While at home look for common signs that include red and swollen gums. They may also feel sensitive when brushing or eating and may bleed from time to time. At this stage, it is generally referred to as gingivitis. As the condition worsens the gums will recede and more of the tooth will be exposed. In its worst state, pockets can form in the gum tissue and create an area for bacteria to flourish. The bacteria can attack the tooth and roots and further infect the area and cause pain. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to schedule an appointment immediately so that we can help to prevent this situation.
If you have gum disease it can be treated with a deep cleaning. This procedure involves removing the bacteria from underneath the gums so that they can become healthy again. The body is able to naturally heal itself once the bacteria have been removed. Once the gums have receded and pockets have formed in the gum tissue a gum graft may be necessary for closing the pocket. In this procedure tissue from the roof of your mouth is attached to your gums so that they can cover and protect the tooth again.
Healthy gums are important for the health of the rest of your body. Pregnant women need to be especially careful since gum disease can induce labor prematurely. Babies can also be born at a lower than average birth weight when their mother has unhealthy gums, making regular dental care extremely important.
Heart disease has also been linked to gum disease, with 91 percent of those suffering from a heart condition having unhealthy gums as well. Heart disease kills more people than any other health condition and reducing the risk factors is of extreme importance. As a general dentist, we can help to keep your teeth and gums in good health so that the rest of you can stay healthy too.