Your smile can last for a lifetime with the right care over the years, which is why you’re proactive about cavity prevention. Although 92% of adults have had at least one cavity, tooth decay isn’t the only threat to your smile. In fact, there is another danger that may linger your mouth. Periodontal (gum) disease affects at least 50% of Americans; however, most adults aren’t aware they have it. Don’t worry, your dentist in Medford has the solutions you need to save your smile.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is a preventable infection that occurs in the gingival tissues as a result of improper oral hygiene. Bacteria found in plaque and tartar accumulations infect the gum tissue, causing pockets to form near the roots of the teeth. At first, you may only experience red, swollen, or bleeding gums. During this stage of the infection, called gingivitis, your dentist can easily stop it without it causing long-term damage.
Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the early warning signs of gum disease. As a result, the infection continues to spread until it destroys the supporting structures of your teeth. As it reaches the advanced stages, your teeth may loosen and fall out.
The bacteria can also enter your bloodstream from the pressure of chewing. As it circulates throughout your body it can increase your risk of several health concerns, including heart disease, respiratory infections, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
If your dentist detects the infection, you’re going to need periodontal therapy. The first step to fighting the infection is a treatment called scaling and root planing, better known as a deep cleaning. A special dental tool removes tartar from above and below the gum line. The roots of the teeth are smoothed to allow the gum tissue to reattach to them to reduce the risk of future infection. When combined with the right oral hygiene habits at home and regular preventive appointments, you can keep gum disease at bay.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Although gum disease is common, there are several things you can do to prevent it, such as:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and tartar control toothpaste.
- Use a high-quality dental floss to clean in between each tooth before going to bed at night.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.
Save Your Smile Today!
Quick detection and intervention can save your smile from the damages of gum disease. At the first sign of a problem, don’t wait to contact your dentist for periodontal therapy.
About Dr. Anthony Giamberardino
Dr. Giamberardino earned his dental degree in 1985 and worked with Harvard Community Health Plan before opening his private practice full-time in 1993. Now, he provides personalized solutions to help his patients reach their oral health goals. Besides caring for the teeth, he also keeps your gums healthy with periodontal therapy. If you have signs of gum disease, don’t wait. Contact our office today for an appointment.