Periodontal Therapy to Treat Gum Disease
One of the most common oral health problems is gum disease. This disease affects over 64 million Americans even though it is 100% avoidable with proper oral hygiene habits. Those who have gum disease are at higher risk for many conditions and ailments such as stroke or heart attack. Although gum disease cannot be reversed in severe cases, there are many methods we can employ to reduce your oral health problems. We have effective periodontal therapy treatments to help combat your gum disease. We also have tips and information for avoiding problems with the gums and keeping them healthy. Maintain a healthier mouth today with our help!
Gum Disease: What Is It?
Gum disease is a serious infection of the gums. It is an inflammation of the gum line that can eventually affect the bones that surround the teeth and gums. Gum disease also goes by the names of periodontitis and periodontal disease. Periodontitis can contribute to or worsen conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. The first stage of the disease is gingivitis. This is when the gums become swollen, red or tender. They may also bleed easily when brushing or flossing the teeth. You may begin to notice a change in your gums because the color becomes darker. You might also notice that you have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
Gingivitis is a stage where periodontal disease is easily correctable. If you exercise proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing the teeth each day, your gums can become healthy once more. However, if you continue to not take care of your teeth, your gums will also take a hit. When periodontitis progresses, the gums will begin to recede from the teeth. You may start to see the underlayer of the tooth when this begins to happen. Eventually, the recession of your gums will cause your teeth to loosen and fall out. That is the severe stage of the disease where the jawbone has been weakened and correction of the disease is very difficult.
The Prevalence of Gum Disease
Many patients don’t realize that the gums are just as important as the teeth when it comes to taking care of your oral health. If you don’t take care of your gums, your teeth can fall out, your jawbone can weaken and your overall health can be affected. Gum disease is a serious gum infection that, if left untreated, can get to the point where it’s not reversible.
About 64.7 million American adults under 65 suffer from periodontitis. That figure only includes Americans and only includes adults. That’s a lot of gum disease! 64.7 million American adults equates to about 47.2% of adults in the U.S. with some stage of periodontitis. After age 65, the percentage increases to around 70.1% of people. Around 8.7% have mild periodontitis, and 8.5% have severe cases of periodontitis. Most Americans lie in the moderate range (30%) of the disease. At this stage, problems can be reversed with proper treatment. However, with severe cases, the damage may be too severe to correct and extensive periodontal procedures must be done. Because gum disease is so prevalent in the United States, the American Academy of Periodontology encourages each patient to receive a yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluation.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy
To be fairly honest, it’s not hard to keep your mouth healthy. There are a few very simple and very basic guidelines to achieving a healthy mouth. One is to brush the teeth AT LEAST twice a day. When we say “at least”, we mean that that is the minimum. Brushing after every meal will help remove plaque that sits on your teeth. Also brushing after eating sugary sweets or drinking sugary beverages will help keep your teeth free of plaque. Floss your teeth every single day as well. This will remove food that has become trapped in between the teeth. The correct way to floss is to go up far enough that you are getting under the start of your gums in between each tooth. Scrape your teeth as you floss them to get off as much residue as possible.
If you already have problems with periodontal disease, we can prescribe you a special mouthwash to help keep your gums healthier and to do a more thorough, but gentle, cleaning of the gums. To keep yourself free of gum disease (especially the later stages), come to our office biannually to receive your comprehensive examinations and cleanings. Patients who do this have a lower risk for developing gum disease than those who don’t. Periodontitis is 100% preventable with these few simple guidelines.
Periodontal Therapy for You
If you see signs of gum disease forming or want to know if you’re at risk, it’s always a smart choice to come see Dr. Ania. At our office, we can provide you the services needed to assess your oral health and treat the problems that are present. With conditions such as periodontitis, you always want to be vigilant with treatment. Every step you take with improving your oral health can help save the natural teeth you have and keep your smile brighter for longer. To schedule your exam, call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940!