Gum (Periodontal) Disease
It’s estimated that more than 75 percent of Americans suffer from gum disease, the condition that causes tooth loss and has been linked to a host of other serious health conditions. Fortunately, gum disease is easy to prevent and treat.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the infection of the gums that may surround one, two, or the whole row of teeth. Its symptoms include persistent bad breath, bleeding, tender, or red gums, gum recession, and sensitive teeth. When left untreated, gum disease causes tooth loss, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and can also lead to low birthweight or premature birth.
How To Prevent Gum Disease?
It’s not difficult to keep gum disease from forming. Make sure you’re maintaining excellent dental hygiene habits, including the following:
- Brushing teeth for two minutes, after each meal or at least twice a day
- Flossing teeth daily
- Visiting the dentist every six months (or as otherwise recommended)
- Quitting tobacco use
- Maintaining a nutritious diet
How We Treat Gum Disease
In its beginning stages, gum disease is reversible without surgery. Sometimes improved brushing and flossing is all that’s necessary for bringing gums back to their original health. Scaling and root planing (also known as a deep cleaning) is a nonsurgical treatment that removes plaque and bacteria above and below the gumline. This method may be combined with antibiotic therapy. More advanced cases of periodontal disease may require surgical treatment.