What's the Big Deal about Periodontal Care?
Gum disease is extremely common; at least half of American adults are suffering from some degree of periodontal disease, ranging from early-onset gingivitis to advanced-stage periodontitis. The severity of your disease will largely determine how we decide to treat it, but the key to protecting the longevity of your teeth and health of your gums is an early diagnosis from regular dental appointments.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and, if discovered at this stage, it's wholly treatable and curable. Often, gingivitis is entirely painless, leading it to sneak up on unsuspecting patients. Signs that you may have gingivitis include:
Fortunately, you can reverse gingivitis at home by following a good cleaning regimen. We can catch and diagnosis gingivitis at your six-month dental exam, and if we find it, we'll recommend that you take measures to take proper care of your teeth. Brushing twice a day, for two minutes per session, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste is important. Flossing nightly and using an antibacterial mouthwash will also help you combat gum disease.
For our patients with more advanced gum disease, don't worry; we're here for you to help you stop the disease from progressing and protect you from unwanted tooth decay and loss. Depending on how far advanced the disease has gotten, we may try to start by treating the existing infection with antibiotics.
We may also advise a scaling and root planing, which is also known as a "deep cleaning". This not only scrapes off any existing tartar and plaque buildup, but it also smooths down the tooth root to give your swollen and receding gums a chance to reaffix to your tooth roots. A root canal may be required, as well as gum grafts to help restore your receding gums. A series of x-rays can help us determine the state of your oral health.
Periodontal care isn't just a cosmetic issue; regular dental appointments can not only prevent tooth decay and unsightly cavities and tooth loss, but it can also protect the soft tissue and bones in your mouth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to heart attack, stroke, and even cancer. If you suspect that you may have gum disease, do not hesitate to give our professional and skilled office at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic and Family Dentistry a call at (908) 647-4441 to better ensure the health of not just your mouth, but your whole body.