According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50% of the population of the United States over the age of 30 has some form of gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an inflammatory condition of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque and harmful bacteria.
The most frequent reason why patients at Bonita Dental Care come in with periodontal disease is because of poor oral hygiene, especially when it comes to flossing. When caught in its early stages, the effects of gum disease can be treated and reversed. When it advances, patients can suffer from serious complications like tooth loss.
There are numerous symptoms of gum disease, and they can vary based on the severity of a patient’s condition. The most common ones are:
- Gums That Bleed Easily
- Swollen or Puffy Gums
- Red or Purple Gums
- Pain When Chewing
- Loose Teeth
- Pus Between the Teeth and Gums
- Bad Breath
- Receding Gums
- Extra Space Between the Teeth
When periodontal disease is identified in its early stages, dentists can treat the condition by performing a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums. This means removing all of the plaque that has built up in small pockets and then sanitizing the area, so none of the bacteria remains behind. If the disease seems to have progressed, then antibiotics can be prescribed.
Scaling and root planing are more advanced forms of this cleaning that involves a thorough scraping to eliminate bacteria, followed by the reshaping of the gums.
In advanced cases, surgery might be necessary to help restore oral health and wellness. Some sample surgeries include flap or pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts, and even bone grafting. Sometimes guided tissue regeneration can also be used, as can tissue-stimulating proteins.
The best way to prevent the development of periodontal disease is by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing twice a day and also visiting a dentist on a regular basis. The dentist can perform an exam and clean the teeth to an extent which an individual can’t at home, reducing the chances of infection and plaque buildup.
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