In the United States, nearly 65 million people have an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Our risk of getting gum disease increases as we get older, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that roughly half of all Americans 30 years and older have periodontitis. In comparison, 7 out of every 10 people 65 years and older have some form of this disease.
Fortunately, periodontal disease can be treated and prevented. At A Perfect Smile, we understand how important treating gum disease can be for the sake of your oral health and your overall health.
We offer gentle, non-surgical treatment options at our Falmouth, ME dentist office. If you suspect you may have gum disease — or you want to prevent it — please call (207) 536-3508 to schedule an appointment with us.
Anyone can have infected gums. The bacteria that cause this disease live in our mouths. When they form plaque, that plaque can harden into tartar.
Tartar can irritate your gums leading to the symptoms such as red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss. These are the signs of gingivitis, which is the mild form of this disease.
If your condition persists or you don’t take steps to treat it, you may notice things like lingering bad breath, gums that are separating from your teeth, loose teeth, and sore or tender gums.
In the early stages, sometimes better brushing and flossing and a professional cleaning can be enough to reverse your condition.
It’s also important to note that pain may be one of the final symptoms of gum disease. Some people never feel any pain. In other words, you should not wait for pain before you seek treatment. If you are having gum disease symptoms, then you should get treatment as early as possible.
This may mean scaling and root planing. This is a two-step deep cleaning procedure. Scaling is how we remove plaque and tartar that has formed on your teeth below your gumline. Root planing is a technique for smoothing out rough spots on the roots of your teeth. This makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar to form again on that root.
We can use gentle ultrasonic devices to remove the plaque and tartar that we find, which makes the procedure simpler and as pain-free as possible. As a follow-up to this treatment, you may receive antibiotic medicine to kill bacteria that caused your infection.
Ideally, you won’t ever develop a gum infection. If you need an incentive to fight it, please note that gum disease causes more tooth loss than accidents or tooth decay in the United States.
This is just one of the many reasons having a good oral hygiene routine is so important. By brushing and flossing daily, you are removing bacteria that cause gum infections (and tooth decay). By getting routine professional dental cleanings, you are further reducing your risk by regularly having plaque and tartar buildup removed from your mouth.
Take control of your oral health by taking charge of the health of your gums!