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Periodontal (gum) disease is a growing problem for many. It may cause pain, bad breath and affect your systemic health.
While good oral hygiene habits can help prevent periodontal disease, it can still develop due to a number of factors related to your overall health. Hormonal changes, medications, lifestyle habits and age can all affect the health of your gums.
We strive to catch it early so we can address the problem when it is easier to treat.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth, especially under the gumline. The sticky plaque attracts bacteria and eventually turns into hard tartar. The tartar and bacteria irritate the gums and cause an infection. You cannot remove tartar with your toothbrush or floss alone, no matter how often you brush.
Our dental hygienists have the proper training and tools to restore your oral health.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Brushing twice daily and flossing every evening using good techniques will help remove a lot of plaque, but even the most diligent brusher and flosser may have a hard time cleaning off all the plaque, especially when it hides under the gumline.
You can improve your chances of staving off periodontal disease by getting twice-yearly professional dental cleanings from one of our dental hygienists.
So what if you brush, floss and arrange your regular cleanings like you are supposed to and still get periodontal disease?
Other factors can contribute and cause a predisposition to gum disease:
- Smoking automatically increases your odds of developing gum disease. If you need help quitting, talk to your dentist.
- Diabetes and heart disease have both been linked to periodontal disease.
- Numerous prescription medications are known to cause dry mouth, which can contribute to gum disease.
- Illnesses that inhibit your immune system, including cancer, increase your chances of developing periodontal disease.
- Genetics also play a role. Gum disease tends to run in families.
Treating Periodontal Disease
How your gum disease is treated will depend a great deal on how advanced it is and how much damage it has caused. It’s important to treat gum disease, even in the early stages. Untreated gum disease will not only progress in your mouth but can also lead to health troubles throughout the rest of your body.
Mild gum disease can often be treated with a renewed commitment to good oral hygiene habits and an antimicrobial mouthwash. Moderate-to-advanced gum disease may require a deep cleaning treatment known as scaling and root planing. During this treatment, we remove the tartar from below the gumline and between your teeth.
Are you concerned that you might have periodontal disease? We invite you to call our clinic so that we can evaluate your gum health.