Did you know that gum disease is one of the most chronic types of disease in America? For residents of Whittier, California, a Board Certified Periodontist at St. Mary Family Dental can help get gum disease under control and boost your overall dental health. That process begins with a dental exam and a deep cleaning, which you can book online or over the phone, so don’t delay.
Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is inflammation in your gum tissue. The initial stage of gum disease is a condition called gingivitis. This occurs when plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is filled with bacteria, which can lead to inflammation in your gum tissue.
One of the first signs of gingivitis is when you notice blood or increased gum sensitivity while brushing your teeth. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis.
Periodontitis can cause your gum tissue to pull away from the surface of your teeth. This creates tiny pockets where plaque and bacteria grow. Your immune system responds with inflammation, making matters worse by displacing your gum tissue even more.
The bacteria in your plaque create toxins, which can break down the connective tissues and bone that hold your teeth in position. Eventually, your teeth don’t have the support they need to stay in place, and tooth loss occurs. In fact, gum disease accounts for the majority of tooth loss in the United States.
Another serious risk of periodontitis involves the risk of bacteria entering your bloodstream through inflamed gum tissue. Researchers have found links between periodontitis and health issues like dementia, premature birth, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name just a few.
The initial treatment for periodontitis is a scaling and root planing procedure. This process involves using dental tools or an ultrasonic device to break down accumulated plaque and calculus manually. The tools are extended beneath the gumline to clear the roots of your teeth from plaque accumulations and rough areas.
Prescription mouth rinses can help control bacteria during gum treatment, and antibiotics are sometimes needed to prevent further infection. In some cases, surgery is needed to remove plaque or regenerate gum or bone tissue.
After your treatment, you can help improve your gum health by embracing a solid oral hygiene routine. Without making those changes, gum disease is likely to return. Your practitioner can help you learn how to thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth and keep your gum tissue healthy.
To learn more about gum disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options, schedule an appointment online, or call the office at your earliest convenience.