Gum disease. Now there’s a topic of conversation you don’t hear too often. However, it is important to be informed about gum or periodontal disease. That way you can avoid having to contend with this disease as well as the oral and general health problems it can lead to. The Bonita Springs dentist at Pelican Landing Dental is here to tell you about gum disease, how you can avoid both gingivitis and periodontitis and treatment options for all phases of the disease.
What is Gum Disease?
In simple terms, gum disease is a bacterial infection of the soft tissue covering the bone structure that holds your teeth in position. The infection begins with plaque, which is filled with bacteria and can be cleared away with daily brushing and flossing. However, when not removed, plaque begins to harden and become tartar, also called calculus, which is impervious to brushing.
How Can You Avoid Gum Disease?
The primary weapon against the bacteria that cause gum disease is regular and effective brushing and flossing at home. Your Bonita Springs dentist recommends brushing your teeth with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day—after every meal is even better. You should floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. These tight spots are a perfecting hiding place for plaque to accumulate.
In addition to your oral hygiene routine at home, scheduling dental checkups every six months is important, as well. At these visits, one of our skilled dental hygienists will clean your teeth with special hand instruments that can clear away plaque and small bits of calculus.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Initially, gum disease can be rather sly and hard to detect, which makes your regular checkups all the more important. Our hygienist will measure the depth of pockets between your teeth and gums; measurements over 4 millimeters can be an indication of gum disease.
Other outward signs of the disease include:
- Red and swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth that look longer because of gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when you bite or chew
- Teeth that are beginning to loosen
Left untreated, these symptoms can eventually lead to tooth loss. In addition, the bacteria associated with gum disease has also been linked to various bodily ailments including, high blood pressure, heart disease and osteoporosis.
To Treat Gum Disease, Bonita Springs Calls Pelican Landing Dental
Depending on the severity of gum disease, our dentists will select the appropriate treatment option. Whether your gums require better cleaning at home, scaling and root planing in our office or more advanced care, you can count on Pelican Landing Dental to provide you with the best gum disease treatment.