A Guide to Gum Disease in Brentwood
Gingivitis, periodontal disease, and gum disease are all terms you may hear from your dentist or on television. Do you know just what gum disease is, how to spot it, and how to treat it? How to avoid it? The more you know about gum disease, the better equipped you are to maintain vigorous gums and healthy teeth for your lifetime.
In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. This condition may present as redness or swelling of the gums, and they may bleed during brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is reversible when caught early and treated aggressively.
You may assume that gingivitis is caused only by poor hygiene – that if you brush and floss daily, you have nothing to worry about. In reality, gingivitis may also be triggered by brushing too aggressively. Additional circumstances that may increase the risk of gingivitis include:
- Poor health
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Misaligned teeth
- Irritation from dental appliances
Reversing gingivitis begins with a professional assessment and cleaning. Your dentist will evaluate the condition of your gums. After a thorough cleaning, proper oral hygiene must continue at home – regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing to reduce plaque and bacterial buildup.
GuUntreated gingivitis may lead to periodontal disease, marked by bad breath, a strange taste in the mouth, and pockets around teeth. It is important to treat periodontal disease, as it can lead to loss of bone in the jaw, tooth loss, and serious systemic illness.
Brentwood Family Dental’s approach to treating gum disease depends on the overall condition of your gums. Early stages are treatable with scaling and root planning. This treatment involves removal of plaque around the tooth and root surfaces, performed with local anesthetic to ensure comfort. Severe cases of gum disease will require surgical treatment to remove hardened plaque build-up. In such advanced cases, damaged bone is also re-contoured and gum tissue may be repositioned to facilitate easier cleaning.
To avoid gum disease, the best medicine is preventive medicine. Regular cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Alkhoury will help you maintain excellent oral hygiene.