Gum Disease & Treatment
Periodontist in Budd Lake
While many people in Budd Lake are familiar with looking after teeth and ensuring they stay healthy, few people pay much attention to the gums. Gums also play a significant role in the health of your teeth and mouth, and some dental professionals are experts in this area. Here are a few of the common questions people have about gums and the dental care experts that look after them.
Periodontics is the professional dental study and treatment of the inflammatory conditions that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
WHAT IS A PERIODONTIST?
This is a dentist that has gone beyond the basic education of dental science to specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of periodontal disease. This requires three additional years of study beyond the normal degree for dental sciences or medicine. It also qualifies a periodontist to work with implants as well as perform more cosmetic procedures such as gum lifts.
WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?
Gingivitis is the first, most common and least serious form of gum disease. Because it doesn’t usually involve pain, it is often common for people to not even realize they have it. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, tender gums, which are prone to easy bleeding. Some professional dental attention, as well as diligent brushing and flossing, is usually enough to fight a gingivitis infection.
WHAT IS PERIODONTITIS?
This is a more serious form of gum disease that some patients in Budd Lake develop, and can often be caused by gingivitis that is ignored. When periodontitis sets in, this weakens the gums. If left untreated, it can lead to loose teeth that move around in the gums and, eventually a loss of teeth as they are no longer able to remain anchored in the mouth.
HOW DO YOU GET GUM DISEASE?
There are many reasons a person can contract gum disease. Consistent breathing through the mouth, for example, can lead to an infection of the gums as you are constantly exposing your mouth to bacteria. Regular smoking can also lead to gum disease; smoking weakens the gum’s ability to fight infection, making it more vulnerable. Increased hormonal activity during puberty, pregnancy and menopause can also lead to gum disease as hormonal changes can affect the gums. And of course, poor oral hygiene can also lead to gum disease.
WHAT IS HALITOSIS?
Halitosis is, simply, “bad breath,” and this can be another symptom of gum disease. Because bacteria are breeding in your mouth, this can be a persistent, long-term case of halitosis that even cosmetic mouthwashes can only hide for short periods.
When it comes to gum disease, it’s essential that you take good care of your mouth, and make sure a professional regularly examines you. That way, early gum disease can be treated before it becomes serious, and serious gum disease can be addressed before you lose teeth.
GUM DISEASE TREATMENT
Though often neglected or forgotten, the gums—and even saliva—play a vital role in the healthy state of your mouth. Teeth aren’t floating in the air; they are anchored in the jaw through the gums, which firmly hold them in place. Without the gums protecting both the teeth and the jaw, infections and other ailments have a much higher chance of taking hold.
That’s why if you should contract a gum disease, you should get this treated as quickly as possible.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease has numerous causes, but it usually occurs when an infection is given the opportunity to take hold in the gums. The mildest form of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This results in inflammation of the gums, making them easier to become damaged or to bleed.
Many different factors can lead to gum disease. These include regular breathing, which constantly brings in bacteria and is hard on the gums. Smoking is another culprit, as it inhibits the gum’s ability to heal and misaligned teeth can distort the shape of the gums and allow bacteria easier opportunities to get inside. Even hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause can affect the health of gums and make them more susceptible to gingivitis.
WHY IS GUM DISEASE BAD?
In addition to the bleeding and general soreness, gum disease can lead to a more severe version known as periodontitis. This can have a snowball effect, growing more pronounced, infecting your gums and eventually weakening them, which can lead to a loss of teeth. Your gums are an anchor that helps to hold your teeth in place. Once they become infected, they can no longer perform this role and may, in turn, infect the teeth themselves.
Added to this, there is the chance that periodontitis if left untreated, can go beyond the mouth and send its bacteria throughout the rest of your bloodstream. There have even studies that indicate a link to heart disease may be more pronounced by people that ignored the periodontitis in their mouth.
HOW TO TREAT GUM DISEASE
You should visit a specialist such as a periodontist in Budd Lake or a dental hygienist to determine the scope of your gum disease and see what procedures will be most effective. Root planing, for example, is a very thorough removal of tartar both above and below the gum line. This helps get rid of any remaining plaque that may still be on the teeth. For more severe cases, flap surgery may be required. This calls for lifting the gums away from the teeth to get at all the plaque and tartar that has formed underneath.
Gum disease may start as just a little bit of bleeding on your gums, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. If you bleed a lot when you brush or floss, you should consult a dentist to get your gums more carefully examined. Our team at Gentle Family Dentistry is here to help.