Manage gum disease with help from your Rose Hill dentists
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least fifty percent of American adults have some degree of gum disease. What is unfortunate about this statistic is that gum disease can be prevented. However, once this condition has developed, it can be difficult to control. With the help of your Rose Hill dentists, you will find it much easier to manage the chronic infection of gum disease. The doctors and hygienist at Rose Hill Dental work together to help patients enjoy their happiest, healthiest smiles.
Understanding gum disease
Gum disease begins with plaque and the bacteria it harbors. Plaque is a sticky substance that adheres to the surface of teeth. It has no odor nor color, so is most often not detected outside of professional dental exams. Due to the characteristics of plaque, bacteria love to gather within this substance to feed on food debris. If plaque is not sufficiently removed, it will harden on tooth structure as calculus or tartar. The bacteria that reside in these substances excrete waste that is toxic to the gums and other oral tissues. This waste not only eats away at healthy tooth structure, but also irritates gum tissue.
Early detection of gum disease during gingivitis is important for successful treatment. In this first phase of infection, gums may look puffy or red. Bleeding may occur when teeth are brushed and flossed. If treatment begins in this early stage, the condition may be halted. To keep infection from returning takes daily hygiene and regular professional care.
If gum disease progresses into periodontitis, damage may occur to the fibers and bones that keep teeth upright and stable. This damage cannot be reversed. In periodontitis, the seal between the teeth and gum tissue becomes loose and pockets develop. In these pockets, food, debris and plaque may collect, providing a welcome refuge to oral bacteria. In order to conserve remaining bone structure, professional dental treatment is a must.
Treating gum disease
The team at Rose Hill has ample experience in preventing and treating gum disease. We work with patients to develop and maintain proper technique for brushing and flossing teeth. We also discuss the risks of tobacco use as it pertains to gum health. Through thorough cleanings, plaque and tartar are eliminated. If pockets have formed, they can be cleaned and sterilized in the scaling and root planing procedure. When necessary, surgery may be recommended to repair extensive bone and tissue damage.
Gum disease is a very serious health condition that reaches far beyond the mouth. To keep your smile healthy, contact Rose Hill Dental at (316) 776-2144.