For Americans in their 30s and beyond, the threat of gum disease (periodontal disease) is a very real and potentially dangerous condition. By the age of 40, over 70 percent of the nation's population is affected by the disease to some degree. Although genetics may play a small role in its development, doctors agree that gum disease is most often directly related to how well people care for their teeth and gums. Gum disease is particularly dangerous because the progression of the disease is often painless, going and undetected until it creates serious problems.
Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a gradual infection of the gums and, eventually, the underlying bones of the mouth. It is caused when the build up of plaque on and around the teeth calcifies into tartar. This tartar releases bacteria, which contains toxins and a sulfur compound that slowly decay the teeth and gums. In the first stage of gum disease (known as gingivitis), the bacteria begin to weaken the fibers that hold the gums to the teeth. Gingivitis is characterized by swelling, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums. In the advanced stage of gum disease (referred to as periodontitis), the gum tissues have decayed significantly and pulled away from teeth. The bones below the teeth have usually become infected and begun to dissolve.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Treatments to alleviate the effects of gum disease depend on the severity of the tooth and gum erosion. The hygienist begins by removing the diseased tissue, tartar, and plaque from the tooth's surface and below the gum line. The root of the tooth may need to be planed and smoothed in order to allow gum tissue to heal properly. If periodontal pockets (deep spaces between the teeth and gums) have formed, the doctor places antibiotic fibers to fill in these spaces. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics to stem the growth of the toxin-producing bacteria while the gums heal.
Gum disease is best prevented by early detection and proper dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps to remove the thin layer of bacteria that release dangerous toxins into your mouth. Flossing or other interdental cleansing is also important to keep your mouth free from residual food and bacteria. Finally, maintaining a balanced diet and scheduling regular dental appointments help s stem the advance of gum disease and keep s you healthy and smiling. We are a dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, non-surgical procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles!
Comprehensive Exam and Oral Cancer Screening
As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. That’s why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams (velscope), and taking x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your health. A review of your medical history can help us stay informed of your overall health, any new medications, and any illnesses that may impact your dental health. Infection control in our office is also very important to us. To protect our patients and ourselves, we strictly maintain sterilization and cross contamination processes using standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). As your dental health professionals, we want you to be confident knowing that we are a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians. We pride ourselves in providing the care you need to keep your smile healthy. To give you the best possible service and results, we are committed to continual education and learning. We attend dental lectures, meetings, and dental conventions to stay informed of new techniques, the latest products, and the newest equipment that a modern dental office can utilize to provide state-of-the-art dental care. Also, being members of various professional dental associations helps us to stay abreast of the changes and recommendations for our profession.
A Positive Experience
Building a foundation of trust by treating our patients as special individuals is vital to our success. We understand how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, and how we can make a difference in providing a relaxing and positive experience. Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible. We thank you for allowing us to take care of your dental needs and look forward to serving you.