Gum disease affects many Americans. It starts as plaque on the teeth, a sticky substance that will turn into tartar as it hardens. While a proper home care regimen, including brushing and flossing, removes most plaque; regular dental cleanings are needed to take care of the rest. When proper oral care is lacking, or a condition such as xerostomia (dry mouth) is present, tartar can accumulate. Tartar harbors bacteria that attacks the gums.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis damages the soft tissue of the gums and destroys the bones that support your teeth. Depending on how advanced is your periodontitis, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Swollen gums that bleed easily
- Bright red or purplish gums
- Receding gums – teeth may appear longer than normal (this is the derivation of the phrase ‘long in the tooth’)
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
Healthy gums are pale pink and fit snugly around your teeth.
Scaling and root planing (srp) can help eradicate gum disease. Once this is achieved, it is important to maintain a regular schedule of visits to your dentist. This is referred to as periodontal maintenance. The frequency of visits depends upon your circumstances. The typical interval between visits is three to six months.
At Pippin Dental Care, we have treatment options that will help you get the smile you want, and healthy gums you need.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Although the first step in reconstructing your smile is to treat the gum disease, you have a wide range of cosmetic procedures to correct an uneven gum line, or address elongated teeth or a ‘gummy smile.’ Expedited strengthening of loose teeth can be accomplished through periodontal splinting.
While periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss, it’s also been linked to other inflammatory diseases, such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Fortunately, gum disease is also highly preventable.
Make an appointment today with Dr. William Pippin for a consultation to determine the best steps for you toward a healthier mouth.
Our goal is for any problems gum disease may have caused to be part of your history, not your future!