Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a dire dental situation in the United States with about half of the adult population dealing with it in some capacity and level of severity as per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). One out of two? That could be you!
While some cases of gum disease are quite mild, if left untreated, over time the condition could worsen, leading to far more serious issues that can actually travel throughout the body. From the first indications of redness and swelling to something far more severe, it is unwise and ill-advised for any patient to ignore any signs or symptoms of gum disease they may be experiencing, no matter how small they seem.
But oral care, especially gum therapy, is certainly not something you have to tackle alone. Here at Cornerstone Dental Arts, part of your routine oral exam focuses on the treatment of the gums, how they are currently doing and how they may have changed since your last appointment. Our caring team is always thorough, even if you have no issues to complain of. After all, sometimes the very start of something that could turn serious reveals no signs at all. That’s why a checkup is your first line of dental defense. We are here to nip things in the bud before the situation snowballs. A proactive approach as well as continued oral care management will be the key to keeping your gums healthy and disease free for a long time to come.
Please read on for more information about gum therapy, why it is so very important, and what we at Cornerstone Dental Arts can do to keep your gums in great condition. It’s a must that can affect more than just your mouth.
What Causes Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) and What Can It Lead To?
Gum disease is essentially an infection that starts when the bacteria and plaque that form on the surface of the teeth begin to creep up to and beneath the gum line. Patients generally see some degree of swelling and redness, perhaps experience tenderness or even pain. As the infection deepens and worsens (which it will if untreated), the gums can recede (pull back/away from the teeth) and patients may experience chronic bad breath (halitosis). Even tooth loss can occur. When gum disease is not treated completely, it can further invade the body, becoming a serious risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and other health conditions. Gum therapy is the proper way to tackle the issue so it can be treated effectively and efficiently.
Gum Restoration – What Is It and How Can It Protect Gums?
As mentioned, one serious effect of gum disease is gum recession. Once the tooth enamel close to the roots become exposed due to this recession, decay is more likely to develop and fester, which can lead to tooth loss. Past treatment for this condition included gum grafts, but this procedure is painful. These days, as modern dental technology has advanced, here at Cornerstone Dental Arts, we can correct gum recession with the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique. Restoration no longer requires tissue harvesting from other areas of the body, incisions, or pain. Talk to one of the Cornerstone Dental Arts dentists for more detail about this revolutionary restoration process and if your gum therapy may require this procedure.
How Can Plaque and Bacteria Be Eradicated From the Gums?
We clean your teeth during your general oral checkups, but when there is plaque and bacteria along the gum line that appears to have become infected, we trust soft tissue laser technology to vaporize the plaque and bacteria away by using highly-concentrated beams of light. This technique is incredibly precise, so only the diseased areas are treated while the healthy gums are not compromised. The procedure is nearly pain-free and can be done quickly in the office.
Another layer of protection and elimination of bacteria and infection is by way of topical antibiotics. Applied directly to the gums in the office, a medication called Arestin will attack the bacteria and keep it at bay. This is a second course of action that gives you added therapy once the plaque and bacteria are removed, and kills off anything that has been left behind.
Common Signs of Gum Disease to Look Out For:
· Swollen gums
· Bleeding gums
· Red gums
· Tender gums
· Painful gums
· Loose teeth or loss of teeth
· Receding gums
· Bad breath (halitosis)
Do you notice any signs of gum disease developing or do you want to learn more about gum therapy at Cornerstone Dental Arts? We are here to answer any questions or to address your concerns. But don’t wait. The longer gum disease lingers, the greater the chance for worsening or complications. Give us a call at (865) 531-7117. Great gums lead to even greater smiles.