Your gums are one of the most important parts of your mouth. They help protect teeth and bone from damage and form a seal against infection. Gums are resilient, but are not invulnerable. In fact, a majority of adult Americans have some form of gum disease. What can be done to prevent and treat gum disease?
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is a serious bacterial infection that can cause significant damage to your gums, supporting bone, and teeth if undetected. It begins fairly innocuously as mild inflammation and tenderness. But left untreated, periodontal disease can cause serious damage to gum and bone tissue and eventually lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss among adults today.
Gum disease is caused by plaque; specifically, the oral bacteria that live in plaque. Plaque is constantly accumulating in our mouths. It can be easily removed with proper oral hygiene, but if it is allowed to remain, it can spread to subgingival areas (under the gums) where it is much harder to remove. Once there, infection is all but inevitable.
Do I Have Gum Disease?
Many people with periodontal disease don’t know they have it, because it is initially painless. Even when gums are sensitive and bleed while brushing, many people just think they are brushing too hard. But at this stage, gum disease has already set in. Later forms of gum disease involve receding gums, increased tooth sensitivity, and even loose teeth. But even at these advanced stages, discomfort is not common. A regular dental exam is the best way to determine if you have gum disease.
Gum disease is highly treatable if caught early. In fact, a more rigorous oral hygiene routine may be all that is needed to reverse it. Our team may also recommend deep professional cleanings like scaling and root planing. In these procedures, we will carefully clean below your gum line to remove and built-up plaque and tartar.
A more long-term treatment option is antibiotic therapy. Antibiotic medication may be applied directly to your gum tissue or be taken orally, depending on your needs. Other, more aggressive therapy methods may be necessary in more severe cases.
The earlier gum disease is identified and treated, the greater the likelihood of reversing its damage and achieving a full restoration of oral health. If you would like to receive an examination for gum disease in Humble, Texas, please call Drs. Umansky, Nikmard and Elmore today at 281-446-4700. Our Aesthetic Dentistry Associates team is eager to help you!