Gum disease can threaten your oral health and cause a number of health issues. Our Pembroke and Deep River dentists explain how to prevent periodontitis and improve gum health.
What is Gum Disease?
Plaque causes gum (periodontal) disease - bacteria that accumulate on teeth and create toxins. These toxins impact gum tissue and bones surrounding teeth.
While gum disease may be painless at first and grow slowly, gum disease can lead to serious consequences. Not only can you lose your teeth, but because gum health is linked to many other aspects of oral and physical health, this infection can leave you at risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. This is why it's essential that gum disease not be allowed to progress to the more serious stages.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include:
Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is the more serious form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums recede and bacteria eventually fills pockets between gums and teeth. Light to moderate bone loss in the jaw can also happen.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease has scary outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They’ll ask if you’ve noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, whether you’ve been following your regular oral care routine, and whether can answer questions about oral hygiene and care.
Treatments for Gum Disease
Modern dentistry offers a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession and can help improve the appearance of your smile.