Have you noticed a bit of discomfort when you brush? Maybe a little bit of bleeding when you floss? These could be the signs of gum disease and shouldn’t be ignored. As many as 8 in 10 people have some form of gum disease, ranging from the earliest stage called Gingivitis to full-blown Periodontitis. Clinical research has shown that gum disease can threaten more than just your teeth.
Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, and good dental health promotes overall wellness. The right dental routine can make a big difference in the health of your heart, your brain, and even your unborn child. Researchers have been able to identify the bacteria from gum disease in the bloodstream of patients and connected it to heart attack, stroke, memory loss, diabetic complications, and low birth weight babies.
Gum disease is an infection and starts when plaque buildup on teeth and gums and isn’t properly removed. Bacteria contained in plaque attacks soft tissues and bone and begin to break down the bond between the teeth and gums. This creates pockets where bacteria advances, continuing the cycle which eventually begins to attack teeth roots and jawbone.
Early stage gum disease begins with reddish, swollen gums. You may also experience bleeding when brushing or flossing. It is definitely not normal for you to bleed when cleaning your teeth. Patients with advanced stages of gum disease may experience chronic pain, receding gums, and loose teeth. However, many patients with periodontal disease do not have any pain. This is why a thorough exam is so important. Any of the above symptoms, from mild to severe, should prompt a call to our Farmington restorative dentistry practice.
Dr. Cole and the hygienists at Integrity Dental provide gentle, thorough gum disease therapy. We proceed on a case-by-case basis, determining the appropriate treatment based upon the seriousness of the infection. You may only require more frequent routine cleanings. Dr. Cole or his hygienists may also provide scaling and root planing and antibiotics to clear infection below the gumline and smooth teeth roots to promote reattachment of the gums. Patients with acute cases of periodontal disease may require gum surgery to remove diseased tissue, along with the surgical removal of teeth.
Because early stage gum disease may be undetectable to a patient, it is important that you maintain regular dental visits. Dr. Cole, along with his hygiene team, can keep a close eye on your gum health, recommending gum disease therapy when necessary, or may refer to a trusted colleague if the periodontal disease is advanced. Contact us today for your appointment or second opinion visit. Dr. Cole may also recommend other restorative dentistry procedures such as dental implants to help improve oral health and complete your smile.