Healthy teeth are important, no question. But healthy gums are also necessary to hold those healthy teeth in place and protect their roots. Unfortunately, gum disease is very common. More than 80 percent of adults in the U.S. have some form of the condition. Are you one of them?
Do You Have Gum Disease?
Like many conditions, gum disease is a spectrum. Your condition may range anywhere from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is typically characterized by red and swollen gums that may bleed when brushed. At this point, gum disease can be easily reversed by improving oral hygiene habits and the addition of antimicrobial dental care products such as mouthwash or toothpaste.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it will eventually worsen and become periodontitis. If you have periodontitis, your gums have likely started to recede from the teeth, and you may develop pockets, which provide an opening for infection to develop. Over time, as your body tries to fight the infection, you will experience loss of important gum and bone tissue. If the condition continues unchecked, you will eventually lose your teeth.
Gum disease affects much more than just your oral health. Numerous studies have shown a clear link between periodontal disease and serious health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and even cancer. Your health is extremely important to us, which is why we take periodontal care very seriously here at Smiles of Carolina.
Treating Gum Disease
At Smiles of Carolina, we have the tools and the skill to prevent, treat, and reverse gum disease. We will work with you to create a treatment plan perfectly customized to treat your symptoms and the condition itself. Some of the methods we may use include:
- Counseling on better brushing and flossing technique, including hands-on demonstrations
- Antimicrobial mouthwash and toothpaste
- Oral antibiotics
- Deep cleaning treatments including scaling and root planing
- Topical antibiotics that are placed in pockets
- Laser therapy
Before implementing any therapy, we will discuss the procedures with you fully and explain what they do, why we specifically recommend them for you, and how we expect them to help your condition.
Preventing Gum Disease
Ideally, we want to prevent gum disease from ever taking hold in your mouth. While professional cleanings are a part of disease prevention, most of the work will actually be done by you at home. Some risk factors for gum disease cannot be changed, like your genetics and your gender; however, others are well within your control:
- Smoking – If you smoke, please talk to us. We can provide advice and support as you work to kick this habit.
- Oral hygiene habits – Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and floss your teeth once daily using good technique as demonstrated by your Smiles of Carolina dentist or dental hygienist.
- Good health habits – A healthy immune system can help prevent periodontal disease. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
Call today for a periodontal examination with Knightdale dentists Dr. Ko or Dr. Mark. After checking the condition of your gums, we will work with you to create a plan to either maintain your current level of periodontal health or treat any gum disease that is present.