You’d probably be pretty concerned if you knew most adults had a condition that’s been linked to heart disease, skyrocketing blood glucose levels, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Unfortunately, it’s true. Almost half of people over the age of 35 have some level of periodontal (gum) disease — and the implications of that are troubling for public health. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this condition, and how we’re treating gum disease in The Woodlands.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that eats away at healthy gum tissue. Because inflammation in one area of the body increases it elsewhere, developing inflammation in the gums means patients are more likely to have other inflammatory diseases.
The warning signs of gum disease may be easy to ignore at first, but left untreated, the condition takes a toll on oral and overall health.
Symptoms of this condition include…
- Red, swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Gums that bleed after you brush and floss
- Chronic bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth soon after brushing
- Sensitive teeth
- Shifting or loose teeth
What Causes Gum Disease?
You’re at a much higher risk for developing gum disease if you are…
- A smoker
While there are a number of factors that can contribute to gum disease, the leading cause of this condition is poor dental hygiene. When the bacteria from what you eat and drink is allowed to collect in the mouth, it makes a home in spaces between the teeth and gums we call “periodontal pockets.”
You may also have a higher risk of developing gum disease if you take certain medications causing dry mouth — without enough saliva, your mouth cannot clean itself properly. Health conditions affecting the immune system make it more difficult for the body to heal itself after infection takes hold.
What’s the Treatment for Gum Disease?
Once your periodontal pockets reach a certain depth, a dentist will recommend periodontal therapy. The approach varies based on the severity of the infection, and it can range anywhere from improved dental hygiene at home and a couple extra visits to the dentist to surgical treatment for severe periodontal disease.
The first defense against moderate levels of gum disease is nonsurgical scaling and root planing. With this method, your dentist uses special tools to clean above and below the gum line, also smoothing out the tooth’s root to prevent the risk of reinfection. Antibiotic therapy can provide further help killing infection.
About Johnny Taylor, DDS
Dr. Johnny Taylor has been practicing dentistry in The Woodlands for over 30 years, and he has a true passion for building healthy, beautiful smiles. An active member of a number of professional organizations, Dr. Taylor stays up-to-date on the latest advances in dentistry, including expert periodontal therapy in The Woodlands. To learn more about your practice, we invite you to contact us at (281) 364-9913.