Periodontal disease is a big word for gum disease. And you don’t want it in your mouth!
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a nasty infection of your gum tissues that hold your teeth in place. But if allowed to progress, your gums get sore and bleed easily. Chewing becomes painful and difficult to do. Your teeth may even fall out.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is the villain that wreaks havoc inside your mouth when left “unsupervised.”
Your mouth is full of bacteria, mucus, and other particles. And they are constantly forming a sticky, colorless film on your teeth, aka plaque.
When left to itself, plaque hardens and turns into tartar on your teeth. And once tartar forms on your teeth, it cannot be removed with normal brushing and flossing.
What Signs Point to the Possibility of Periodontal Disease?
How do you know if you have periodontal disease? What are the signs?
- You have bad breath that won’t go away no matter what you do to combat it
- If your gums are red or swollen
- Your gums are tender, sore, and they bleed easily
- Chewing is painful
- Your teeth are loose
- If your teeth are sensitive
- Your gums have receded and your teeth appear to be longer
How Do You Know if Your Gums Really are Infected?
Are you scheduling and keeping your dental visits twice a year? Assuming that you are, each time your dental hygienist cleans your teeth, she will do the following:
- Ask you if there have been any changes in your medical history since your last visit
- Look for signs of inflammation
- Probe your gums with a tiny ruler to check for deep pockets around your teeth. She will also measure all pockets to determine how deep they are. If your gums are healthy, the pockets around your teeth will measure between one and three mm deep.
Also, she may take x-rays to check for bone loss.
How is This Disease Treated?
If your dental hygienist and Dr. Davis believe you have periodontal disease, we will refer you an expert who diagnoses and treats gum disease. These experts are known as periodontists. And they provide treatment options that we do not.
Treatments and the types of treatments for advanced gum disease vary depending on the extent of the infection in your gums. However, the number one goal is to get the infection under control, no matter how advanced it is.
All treatment requires good daily care of your teeth at home. But we and your periodontist may suggest changing certain behaviors. For example, quitting smoking will improve your results with the treatment given for periodontal disease.
How can You Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Since infection is caused by poor brushing and flossing, it makes good sense to practice good oral care on a daily basis. Keeping plaque under control before it turns to tartar is the goal of daily oral care! And it’s totally preventable.
Keep your gums and teeth infection-free by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing once a day to remove plaque from between teeth
- Visiting Davis Dental at least twice a year for check-ups and professional cleaning
- And if you’re smoking, quitting smoking
Are You at Risk?
Smoking is the most significant risk factor for developing periodontal disease. Other risk factors include:
- Dry mouth
- Hormonal changes in girls and women
- Certain illnesses (such as AIDS) and their medications
- Genetic predisposition
Are you showing signs of periodontal disease? Don’t let gum disease ruin your beautiful smile. Schedule an appointment with our office today! Call Davis Dental at (307) 634-3488, and let’s get your gum disease under control.
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
3249 Sparks Road
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm