This may come as a surprise, but almost half of all American adults ages 30 and over have periodontal disease according to the CDC. Periodontal disease – commonly referred to as gum disease – is a chronic inflammation that damages your gums and the bone and connective tissue that supports your teeth.
Without prompt treatment, gum disease can ultimately cause tooth loss and other serious health issues. The good news is that, in the majority of cases, it can be prevented with professional treatment and conscientious oral hygiene.
At Martik Family Dental, we understand the severity of gum disease and the effects it can have on both your dental and general health. We have always been strong advocates of prevention as the best way to reduce the risk of developing gum disease.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
It’s often difficult to tell if you have gum disease because you may not notice any symptoms until the infection has advanced to a severe stage. By the time you notice symptoms or our hygienist finds it during a cleaning, gum disease will have already taken its toll.
If you don’t have regular dental cleanings, the first apparent indication of gum disease may be pain. We want to help you avoid getting to this point, and learning about the early signs and symptoms can help you catch the infection in its earliest stage:
- Bleeding when you brush
- Red, inflamed, or tender gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
Treating Gum Disease
In its earliest stages (gingivitis) we can usually eliminate and control gum disease with routine dental cleanings. If our hygienist finds that you have gingivitis, she may recommend more frequent cleanings to reduce the chance of it returning.
The next stage of gum disease is periodontitis. At this point, we will recommend a deep cleaning. During a deep cleaning, our hygienist gently carefully removes plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria present above and below the gum line.
The purpose of a deep cleaning is to remove infection and promote healing of gum tissue. If necessary, we may prescribe antibiotics to make sure that the infection is eliminated completely.
Prevention to Fight Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious problem that not only threatens your oral health, but also your overall well-being. Recent studies have shown a link between chronic inflammation of the mouth and health threats like heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, stroke, and even complications during pregnancy.
But gum disease is completely preventable, and that’s why we strongly encourage you to follow a regular schedule of routine exams and dental cleanings. With prevention, we can help you avoid the complications of gum disease and eliminate the expense and inconvenience that are part of more complicated treatments.
Thoughtful Patient Care
The best way we can help you maintain excellent oral health is by listening to your concerns and learning about your individual needs. Our team focuses on only one patient at a time to provide you with the thoughtful care that you and your family deserve.
Are you ready to take the steps to defeat gum disease? Please contact our Pittsburgh dental office, and we will be happy to help you schedule your next preventive dental cleaning.