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Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, affects more than three-quarters of all Americans over the age of 35. This number includes those exhibiting symptoms of any phase of the disease–from early stage gingivitis and beyond.
The causes of gum disease.
Gum disease is typically caused by the growth of bacteria, better known as plaque. When plaque doesn’t get removed during routine dental visits, it builds up on the surface of the teeth. Eventually, it will irritate the gums and destroy the tissue around the teeth. Once plaque is allowed to build up, it releases acids that harden into tartar. This tartar can be particularly difficult to remove, even with regular brushing. If not removed professionally by your Long Wharf Dental Group dentist, it will build up on teeth and gums, leading to the inflammation that causes gingivitis.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease and therefore the easiest to treat. Most people will develop some form of gingivitis during their lifetimes. In its earliest phases, gingivitis can be easily missed since its symptoms are somewhat subtle. It’s important, however, to catch gingivitis while it can be treated and reversed. Regular dental care is a must to prevent the disease from worsening.
Symptoms of gum disease.
Periodontal disease, once progressed, should be easy to spot. If you notice red, swollen, and soft gums, there’s a good chance you already have some form of gum disease. You may also experience gum soreness or sensitivity to touch. Bleeding and mouth sores are other warning signs. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your Long Wharf Dental Group dentist immediately. We’ll help you prevent the disease from spreading and causing further damage to teeth and gums.
Once symptoms of gum disease are present.
Generally speaking, the earlier gum disease is treated, the better the outcome. Once the disease has developed, it can lead to serious complications, including tooth loss. This is why routine dental cleanings are so important. If you already exhibit signs of gum disease, seek immediate treatment. Your Long Wharf Dental Group dentists are the experts at stopping the spread of gingivitis and more serious periodontal disease before it causes irreparable damage.
Treatment for gum disease.
If your Long Wharf Dental Group dentist notices signs of gum disease, the goal will be to keep the disease under control. Depending on how far the disease has progressed, she or he may recommend behavioral modifications as well as deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. Regular periodontal care is a must. In some cases, you may also be prescribed medications, or even require surgery. Whatever your dentist recommends, it’s important to follow through with regular daily care at home.
Prevention of gum disease.
As with most diseases, prevention is by far the best treatment for gingivitis and gum disease. If you haven’t yet experienced symptoms, make sure you get regular dental check-ups and routine cleanings. This will prevent disease-causing plaque from building up on the surface of your teeth and gums. With regular, professional dental care and good oral hygiene, you can prevent the plaque that causes more serious gum disease, or catch it before it leads to further complications such as tooth loss.