An estimated 42% of Americans who are at least 30 years old have gum disease. If you’re one of them, it’s important to visit the dentist. Without early intervention and treatment, gum disease increases the risk of loose teeth, gum recession, and bone loss. At True Dental Group, James Brown, DDS, Randal Silver, DMD, and the team boast years of experience treating gum disease. To make an appointment at the practice in Independence, Missouri, call the office today, or request an appointment online.
Gum disease refers to an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It’s caused by the buildup of harmful bacteria beneath your gumline.
There are several types of gum disease, but True Dental Group focuses on two in particular:
Gingivitis is a mild infection that causes your gums to become red, inflamed, and swollen. When caught early on, it’s possible to treat and reverse gingivitis through healthy lifestyle changes, preventive dental care, and good oral hygiene.
When gingivitis goes untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more serious infection. Periodontitis causes your gums to recede (pull away from your teeth). As recession occurs, pockets form, allowing more bacteria and food particles to collect.
Treating periodontitis usually involves a deep dental cleaning (scaling and root planing) or antibiotic therapy.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
As gum disease worsens, you might also notice changes to the way your teeth fit together when biting or chewing.
To diagnose gum disease, your True Dental Group provider conducts a comprehensive oral exam. They check your gums for signs of swelling or bleeding and measure the depth of your gum pockets.
Afterward, your provider orders a series of oral X-rays to assess the health of your tooth roots and jawbone.
Treatment of gum disease depends on several factors, including the type and severity of your symptoms. If you have gingivitis, healthy lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist two times a year may be enough to provide relief.
If you have periodontitis, more extensive treatment, like scaling and root planing or antibiotics, might be necessary. Scaling and root planing involves your True Dental Group provider removing plaque and tartar from beneath your gumline. Antibiotic therapy uses prescription medication to eliminate harmful bacteria from your mouth.
If you’re worried that you have gum disease, request a consultation at True Dental Group. Call the office or book an appointment online today.