Periodontal Disease Treatment Broomall, Havertown, Haverford & Newtown Square
You may know a little about gum (periodontal) disease but might not understand in-depth knowledge about it regarding what it is, the stages of it, causes and long-term effects, and treatment options. The upside is that when gum disease is caught early, it’s easily reversible.
Have you ever thought and wondered to yourself if you have gum disease? Gum disease is an ongoing condition that affects nearly half of all American adults. Therefore, it’s wise for everyone to be familiar with the signs of the disease, as well as which treatments can be used to reverse the issue.
What is Gum Disease?
It hides in your mouth, destroying gum tissue and teeth, and it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and pregnancy complications. You may wonder to yourself why you should care. Conservative estimates report that up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has periodontal disease in some form.
Also, 70 percent of adult tooth loss is attributed to periodontal disease. Recent research shows a link between patients who have periodontal disease and those who suffer from strokes, heart attacks, or complications with diabetes or pregnancy. Periodontal disease is silent. What this means is that early symptoms may be painless and mild. You might experience or notice swollen gums or bleeding while brushing, for example. Regular dental checkups are vital because a professional can detect, treat, and reverse periodontal disease in the early stages before significant problems arise.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by plaque build-up. In turn, it’s classified by various stages that occur. You should be aware of and contact Dr. Sander I. White if you have the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums when brushing
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Deep pockets between teeth and gums
Any or all of these signs and symptoms can occur and show up in the early stages. They may also get more noticeable as time goes on. You’ll want to know what stage of the condition you’re at if you think you have gum or periodontal disease.
The most common stage of gum disease is gingivitis. It can strike at any time and part of your life and is often the cause of poor dental hygiene, health conditions (such as diabetes), or side effects from medicines. It’s one of the less severe stages and is easier to treat when it’s in the stage of gingivitis.
When left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. You’ll start to notice that the symptoms become more frequent and significant. You may even notice your teeth start to wobble in some of the most severe cases. It may take a long time before it does develop into a significant issue. However, allowing the damage to reach the severe levels can lead to very serious repercussions for general health as well as oral health.
Cause & Long-Term Effects
Several factors contribute to periodontal disease including, plaque buildup, heredity, and lifestyle choices. By far, the most common and controllable factor is bacterial plaque, the sticky, colorless film produced by normal oral bacteria. Bacteria release toxins that break down the natural fibers that bond gums to teeth. When this occurs, pockets between the gums and teeth form and more bacteria and toxins hide, flourish, and destroy your gums and teeth. Over time, this process can affect not only gums, teeth, and bone within the mouth, but also overall health.
Bacteria in your mouth will be inadvertently ingested, and this can compromise your whole-body health. Germs from the mouth have been found all over the body, as they migrate to places like the heart and lungs. These bacteria have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, pancreatic cancer, stroke, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and even aortic aneurysms, for example. More oral and body connections are being discovered every day. The takeaway is that healthy gums are essential to a healthy body.
You may also be wondering about the treatment options for gum disease. Periodontal disease can be categorized by the severity of damage to the ligament fibers, which Dr. White will measure. A grading system is implemented to identify the level of danger. Once your periodontal disease has been treated, taking personal responsibility to keep it away is crucial.
The most common treatments are:
- A professional clean and scrape followed by improved dental hygiene
- Medications including prescription antimicrobial, antiseptic chips, and oral antibiotics
- Bone and tissue grafts in severe cases where cleaning and scraping won’t suffice
- Flap surgery to remove tartar in the deep pockets
- Laser gum treatment (LANAP)
Maintaining Good Periodontal Health
Regular dental visits at least every six months allows Dr. White to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums. You should also brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use good mouth rinses at home. Dr. White will recommend the products that will optimize your oral homecare, and can also show you the best methods for brushing and flossing. If you have overcome periodontal disease, our team will recommend frequent checkups to ensure your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.
Prevention is the best form of protection for your teeth, gums, and general oral health. Employ a good oral hygiene routine at home, for starters. Other steps that can be taken to help prevent periodontal disease include;
- Drinking more water
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Upgrading your toothbrush as required
- Paying regular visits to your dentist
Are you looking to get into a better preventive dentistry routine or to know if you have the early stages of gum disease? Contact us today to schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. White, your partner in the quest for a beautiful, healthy smile.
One thing you should be looking for in a dentist is experience. For over 40 years, patients in Broomall have relied on our professionalism, compassion, and personalized attention. Dr. White is experienced and highly trained with your best interests at heart. He is a professional member of a number of the top dental organizations in the country.