One of the most prevalent oral health issues we see as dental health providers is gum disease. Approximately 46% of adults over 30 show signs of gum disease, and severe cases affect about 9% of adults. Because of how pervasive it is, it’s vital that we increase awareness and knowledge of gum disease so that patients from all walks of life have the tools they need to maintain good oral health.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about gum disease.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is an oral infection that causes severe inflammation of the gums and damages the support structures of your teeth.
Gum disease can vary from mild to severe. The early stages of gum disease are usually characterized by inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. This mild stage can usually be treated with a thorough professional cleaning. Even if your case seems mild, it will worsen significantly over time leading to periodontitis and causing serious pain and long-term health consequences. In many cases, people with gingivitis may not even have visible symptoms, which is why it’s important to get regular dental exams so it can be addressed early on.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by excess buildup of plaque on and around the teeth. Over time, this plaque will spread and harden, traveling up toward the gum line and causing inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). If left untreated, this plaque and tartar will continue to spread and worsen, leading to gum disease.
In most cases, gum disease is caused by poor oral health habits, but it isn’t always that simple. There are a number of risk factors that significantly increase your chance of developing gum disease, including:
- Hormonal changes
- Family history
- Vitamin deficiency
It’s clear that our health is multidimensional, which means that it’s a good idea to inform your dentist about potential risk factors so they can customize your care to suit your specific needs.
How does gum disease affect my oral health?
Gum disease can wreak havoc on your dental health, causing severe discomfort and long-term complications for your teeth, gums, and mouth. Symptoms such as persistent bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, toothache, and more are all common among patients with periodontitis.
Gum disease also damages oral tissue and bones, leading to infection and tooth loss. In fact, periodontitis is one of the most common causes of missing teeth in the United States.
How does gum disease affect my overall health?
Many people think of their mouth as an isolated medical concern; however, your dental well-being is deeply intertwined with your systemic health. The bacteria in our mouths often make their way throughout the entire body. The resulting gum inflammation can lead to the breakage of nearby blood vessels, putting the rest of your body at risk.
Gum disease has been known to increase the chances of a number of other health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Complications during pregnancy
- High blood pressure
How can I prevent gum disease?
- Practice daily dental care at home by brushing, flossing, and using a gentle antibacterial mouthwash.
- Get a professional cleaning and check-up at least twice a year.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
It’s important to note that, while dental hygiene practices are the best way to prevent gum disease, your risk of developing the condition can depend on your personal needs and history. If you’re concerned about your oral health, your dentist can work with you to create a personalized prevention plan.
How do you treat gum disease?
Of course, with so many adults suffering with gum disease and related problems, prevention isn’t always enough. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for gum disease. With the right approach, you can improve your oral well-being and achieve a healthy and attractive smile, no matter the severity of your condition.
For years, gum disease treatments involved painful surgical procedures that provided inadequate results. We do things a bit differently. At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we provide high-tech and effective gum disease treatments that can transform the health and appearance of your smile.
FWe utilize advanced laser technology to provide you with effective results quickly and painlessly. Our LightWalker treatment uses powerful, concentrated lightwaves to remove damaged tissue and promote healthy tissue growth. Not only does it heal your gums from disease, it actually improves your long-term health. We also offer targeted LANAP gum disease treatment that allows us to remove diseased tissue and harmful bacteria at the root of your teeth.
Our high-tech laser treatments are simpler and more effective than surgical methods. They are minimally invasive, require no scalpel or stitches, allow for quick recovery, and significantly reduce the chance of future infection and disease.
Are you concerned about your oral health? We’re here to help!
We all want to be as healthy as possible, and dental healthcare is a vital aspect of your quality of life. But many people don’t know where to start, especially if they suffer from dental anxiety.
At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, our mission is to provide compassionate, quality dental healthcare to all of our patients. With over 40 combined years of specialized experience, our team has the knowledge and expertise to help you create a treatment plan that works for you.