When you think about what makes a beautiful smile, you probably think of teeth that are white, straight, and free of cracks or chips. But without healthy gums, it’s impossible to have a healthy smile! That’s why it’s important to partner with highly skilled dentists like those at Stonecreek Dental Care to detect the earliest signs of gum disease.
At Stonecreek Dental Care, we approach gum disease like we do other dental complications. We work hard to catch it early when you come in for routine checkups and cleanings. And when that’s not possible, we offer gentle and stress-free treatments to repair the damage and improve your overall oral health.
Read on for more information about gum disease. Then, call our Centerville, OH office, or any of our locations across Ohio, to schedule an appointment!
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding your teeth. It bears a striking resemblance to tooth decay, which occurs when food particles stuck to your teeth attract nasty bacteria. The bacteria build up, consume the sugary food debris and releases a weak acid. This weak acid drives tooth decay, but it can also irritate your gums. This can lead to an infection of the gum tissue.
There are two forms of gum disease. The first is gingivitis, which you’ve probably heard of. It’s a comparatively mild form of gum disease that’s usually easily cured with a professional cleaning. But if it’s not caught and properly treated, it can become the more aggressive periodontitis. At this point, eradicating the infection and repairing the damage will require more involved treatments.
A quick fact about gum disease: It’s more common than you might think! Roughly half of all adults in the U.S. over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What Are The Signs Of Gum Disease?
Even though many cases of gingivitis go unnoticed until substantial damage has occurred, gum disease can be easy to spot if you know what to look for. Some of the symptoms include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums. Most healthy gums have a pinkish hue. Although gum color can vary from person to person, a rusty red color usually isn’t a good sign.
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Proper dental hygiene habits shouldn’t cause your gums to bleed! If you’re experiencing this, you’re either brushing or flossing too aggressively, or you have gum disease.
- Bad breath or halitosis. After all, gum disease is caused by bacterial buildup.
- Receding gums, when the gum line begins to pull away from your teeth. This can result in “pockets” that form between the gumline and the teeth.
- Changes in the positioning of teeth. This can include loose teeth and changes in the way your teeth fit together.
There are also certain factors that increase your likelihood of gum disease. Women tend to be more at risk, simply because hormonal changes like those occurring during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause cause your gums to be more sensitive to irritants. Smoking, poor oral hygiene, family history, and tobacco use can also increase your risk.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
At Stonecreek Dental Care, we offer comfortable, nonsurgical treatments for gum disease. We commonly perform a procedure called scaling and root planing to eradicate the infection. First, we remove bacterial buildup from the gumline and in any “pockets” that may have formed as a result of gum line recession. Then, we gently smooth the roots of your teeth to promote healing of the gum tissue and prevent future bacterial buildup.
Don’t worry; we’ll numb the area thoroughly prior to the procedure to ensure your comfort. We also offer dental sedation options if you’re looking to further minimize stress and discomfort!
If you’ve experienced severe damage to the gum line as a result of gum disease, we’ll work with you to determine the best way to restore your gum health.
Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?
Yes! Adding flossing once a day to your normal oral health care routine is one of the easiest ways to help prevent gum disease. That’s because proper flossing removes food particles from between your teeth and along the gum line that would otherwise attract bacteria.
It’s also important to visit the dentist once every six months for a professional cleaning and dental exam. We’ve been trained to spot the signs of gum disease so we can address the problem as soon as possible.
If you’re due for a routine checkup, or if you suspect you’re living with gum disease, call Stonecreek Dental Care at any of our locations across Ohio. You can also use our convenient online form to request an appointment!