By Dr. Alicia Kennedy,
Did you know that over 85 percent of all Americans suffer from some form of gum disease according to the U.S. Surgeon General?
Gingivitis, periodontitis and gum infections are all serious oral health concerns that can lead to a host of other problems including heart disease, stroke, preterm birth and even certain types of cancer.
Needless to say, gum disease is a serious issue, and chances are, you probably have some form of it.
Take control over your oral health and your overall well-being by preventing gum disease. Thanks in part to an
magazine, you can learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it here. And if you suspect you have gum disease, call our office at 858-454-6148 or visit us online at
to schedule an appointment.
Gum Disease Diagnosis
Only a dentist can tell diagnose you with gum disease. Of those who are diagnosed with gum disease, just 3 percent seek some form of treatment. Don’t be a statistic – get a hold of your health with proper dental care and visit a dentist right away.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have some form of gum disease.
RED OR PUFFY GUMS.
The gums are good indicator of oral health. Red, inflamed gums or any puffiness in between teeth or at the gum line can indicate some form of gum disease.
BLEEDING WHEN BRUSHING OR FLOSSING
- If you have a substantial amount of blood when brushing or flossing, chances are you may have the first stages of gingivitis.
If your teeth feel somewhat loose or achy, it may indicate some form of gum disease. Alternatively, pain could also indicate the presence of a cavity. Don’t ignore pain or aches in the mouth. See a dentist right away.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums, tissues and bone in the mouth. In its earliest stages, gum disease starts as gingivitis – the inflammation of the gums. When bacteria and debris are not properly removed from the surface of the teeth on a daily basis, plaque can set in, setting the stage for gingivitis. As gingivitis progresses, it becomes periodontitis – a more serious form of gum disease that produces periodontal pockets between teeth and the supporting bone. With time, if left untreated, these pockets continue to deepen and infection becomes worse; teeth may fall out and the jawbone may become compromised.
Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented and reversed with the right dental care.
Preventing & Reversing Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease is relatively easy to do with the right dental program. Always:
- Brush at least 2x a day
- Floss daily
- Get cleanings as recommended by your dentist (some individuals may need cleanings more frequently)
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. As opposed to a regular cleaning, a deep cleaning is often done below the surface of the gum line to reach the root area. A hygienist then removes calculus in addition to any bacteria or plaque that may be present. This procedure is called scaling and root planning.
- Oral rinses. Because pockets in the mouth are still present even after deep cleaning, we may prescribe an oral rinse to specifically manage bacterial progression in the mouth.
- Surgery. In very advanced cases of gum disease, we may recommend gum surgery.
The bottom line?
At home dental care is the easiest way to prevent gum disease. Always maintain your oral hygiene at home, and see us regularly to ensure a clean and healthy mouth. Because gum disease can lead to many other problems well beyond your mouth, it’s essential that oral care makes the top of your health goals.
To get on track with your oral health, log onto
or call us to schedule your appointment at 858-454-6148.