It can’t be said often enough – if you want to enjoy the benefits of excellent oral health, staying current with semi-annual exams and cleaning appointments is essential. Both services help us monitor your oral health and detect and resolve potential problems when they are small and don’t require complicated treatment.
The goal of these routine preventive treatments is to monitor you for indications of periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease is an infection that damages your gums and the bone and tissue that support your teeth. The most common reason for gum disease is a lack of proper oral hygiene and missed appointments.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), gum disease, a chronic oral health problem, affects 47% of Americans aged 30 and over. For patients over 65, the prevalence of gum disease increases to 70%!
Most people first notice gums that bleed when they brush or tenderness and inflammation. These symptoms indicate that your immune system is fighting back against the toxins and bacteria, causing the tissue around your tooth to become inflamed.
If the problem isn’t treated, bacteria stick to the root surfaces of your teeth and open up spaces between the tooth and gums called periodontal pockets. The infection will gradually attack the bone that supports your teeth, which leads to irreversible bone loss and, ultimately, tooth loss.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
If gum disease is caught early enough, a thorough cleaning with one of our skilled hygienists may be all that is needed to restore gum health. Your hygienist may also recommend a topical antibiotic that continues to fight the infection after your cleaning.
More advanced gum disease will require more In-depth treatment. This usually involves a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. This procedure involves the removal of lingering plaque and tartar on your teeth and smoothes the surfaces of the roots where bacteria collect.
In some cases, our doctors may recommend that dental lasers be used to treat advanced gum disease. Dental lasers not only comfortably remove infected gum tissue, they also remove bacteria and stimulate optimal healing. Since treatment with lasers is less invasive than traditional deep cleaning methods, you will experience a more comfortable recovery and faster healing times.
Gum Disease and Your General Health
Significant research indicates that chronic gum disease is associated with numerous health conditions like heart and lung disease, diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.
At Doylestown Dental, we want to keep you updated about your oral health so that you can better understand the effect that gum disease can have on your life. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease or you are overdue for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us for an appointment.