Gum disease is a common concern, affecting almost half of all American adults. This condition develops when bacteria create pockets in the soft tissues. Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Left untreated, it can also have serious consequences for your overall health. Fortunately, at Value Dental Centers in Gilbert, AZ, we offer complete periodontal care. We heavily emphasize preventive treatments. However, we can provide appropriate restorative procedures, as well. Scaling and root planing is one of the most common options for gum disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease develops because of harmful oral bacteria. When these microbes start to accrue, they will rest along your gum line. This buildup will cause mild inflammation, redness, and, sometimes, slight bleeding. At this point, the condition is known as gingivitis, and it is reversible. However, as the bacteria continue to multiply, chronic periodontitis will develop. During this stage, the microbes will create pockets in your gums. Eventually, the tissues will pull away from your teeth and jawbone.
Inadequate dental hygiene is the most common reason for gum disease. Nevertheless, you could still develop periodontitis, even if you brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly. Other gum disease risk factors include a poor immune system, certain medications, age, genetics, and additional health conditions.
The Symptoms of Gum Disease
Symptoms of periodontitis can range from moderate to severe. They may consist of:
- Visible inflammation
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Jawbone recession
With our focus on preventive care, we strongly encourage all of our patients to schedule routine cleanings and exams. During regular appointments, your dentist or hygienist will remove microbes. He or she will also eliminate plaque and tartar, which are a source of food for oral bacteria. During your exam, your practitioner will also look for redness and inflammation. When we catch these symptoms early, can provide appropriate care before you suffer tooth loss or other major damage.
Treatment for your gum disease will depend on your symptoms and their severity. To address gingivitis, we will typically perform a thorough, but routine, cleaning. Once your condition progresses to periodontitis, we will usually recommend scaling and root planing. With this procedure, your dentist will remove the pockets of bacteria. He or she will use meticulous methods to avoid impact to the nearby healthy tissues. Your dentist will also smooth down your tooth roots. By removing the rough patches, he or she will eliminate the microscopic fissures that can trap oral bacteria. In this way, scaling and root planing can reduce your risk for a flare-up of gum disease.
Other treatments can include antibiotics and gum grafting. We can also provide appropriate restorations if you have lost teeth because of gum disease. At Value Dental Centers Gilbert, we offer a full range of tooth replacement options, from simple bridges to full implant-supported dentures. After your treatment, it is doubly important to schedule regular dental visits. There is no cure for gum disease, but regular cleanings can reduce your risk for a flare-up.
Why It Is Important to Treat Gum Disease
Whatever treatment you ultimately receive, periodontal care can have lasting effects for your oral and systemic wellness. Without appropriate care, gum disease will worsen and destroy your smile. You could eventually lose many teeth, necessitating extraction and other treatments. Plus, your jawbone could start to recede, affecting the overall proportions of your face.
In addition, gum disease may raise your risk for several serious health concerns. The condition is linked to an increased likelihood of heart attack and stroke. Periodontitis can also make it more difficult to control diabetes. Fortunately, proper periodontal care will protect your smile and lower these other risks.
Contact Us for More Information
Contact Value Dental Centers Gilbert to learn more about gum disease and our effective periodontal treatments.