Treating and Preventing Gum Disease
If you’re unfamiliar with periodontal disease, you probably know it better as gum disease. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and some patients never notice that they have it until a dentist recommends treatment.
There are several methods for treating and preventing periodontal disease, and the sooner it’s treated, the less likely you are to have lifelong dental issues. R+R Dental in Hicksville, NY, offers periodontal treatments for any patient who has early or even advanced signs of gum disease.
How Does Periodontal Disease Develop?
A buildup of plaque causes gum disease. Plaque buildup, which is a sticky form of bacteria, is common and is relatively easy to prevent but when left untreated can create toxins that damage the gums.
Gum disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is easiest to treat. Periodontitis develops when gingivitis is ignored. This later stage of gum disease affects the bone and can lead to tooth loss.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease often “sneaks up” on patients in their 30s and 40s. While the disease affects both men and women, it’s more prominent in men. Some common signs that may indicate that you could benefit from periodontal treatments include gums that bleed easily or gums that are red, tender, and swollen.
When you brush your teeth, and you notice blood on your toothbrush or in the sink, it’s rarely caused by brushing too hard. In most cases, frequent bleeding when you brush indicates gingivitis.
If you notice that your gums have pulled away from the teeth or your teeth feel loose or are shifting these are also signs of gum disease. Other symptoms include chronic bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, or pus between your teeth or on your gums. If you experience any of these dental issues, it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Rivera or Dr. Richer at R+R Dental.
What Happens Next?
At your appointment, the dentist will examine your gums and teeth and may even take some x-rays to determine whether you have bone loss. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, he or she will recommend specific periodontal treatments and share some tips on how to prevent your gum disease from getting worse.
Whether you show early or later signs of gum disease, there are preventative measures you can do at home. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing are important habits to practice if you don’t already.
Other ways to prevent gum disease is to eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that are more likely to “stick” to your teeth like sugars. Drink an adequate amount of water and ditch your tobacco habit if you have one.
A Closer Look at Treating Gum Disease
If some simple preventative tips fail to treat your periodontal disease, your dentist may try deep cleaning your teeth. This procedure consists of scaling and root planing, which removes the plaque through scraping above and below the gum line. Root planing removes any rough spots that act as a gathering place for plaque causing bacteria.
In some cases, your dentist may prescribe a particular type of toothpaste or a prescription mouth rinse containing an antimicrobial called chlorhexidine.
As you treat your gum disease, you may end up visiting R+R Dental more often than normal, but your dentist wants to monitor any progress and tries different treatment methods if necessary. If your periodontal disease is advanced, surgical treatment may be the best option.
Living with Periodontal Disease
Some patients spent a lifetime trying to take care of their teeth but certain risk factors such as medications or being diabetic, make them more vulnerable to gum disease.
If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it may be overwhelming and frustrating news to hear. Even if your gum disease is at an advanced stage, we evaluate all your options and try to find the most comfortable treatment plan for you.
While we strive to try non-surgical methods whenever possible, sometimes a surgical procedure is the best method of treatment. The primary goal of treating gum disease is to stop it from getting worse or causing an infection that can ultimately affect the rest of your health.
Scheduling cleanings and check-ups with R+R Dental, as well as practicing preventative tips, will help put you in control of treating your gum disease. We will work with your step-by-step to ensure that your experience is free of stress, painless, and has nothing but positive outcomes.