Gums are quite literally at the root of dental health. So why do we forget to care for them? Teeth are the visible part of a smile, and as a result receive a lot of attention. Clean, healthy teeth are of course important, but without healthy gums dental health is truly impossible. Even if you have nice teeth, chances are you have seen one of the most common symptoms of gum disease: inflammation or bleeding.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by poor dental hygiene leading to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. The bacteria irritate the gums, making them inflamed and prone to bleeding. As many as 3 in 4 American adults has some form of gum disease. The earliest stage is called gingivitis. Fortunately, in these early stages, gum disease can be easily treated with little or no lasting damage. If left untreated, however, gingivitis becomes periodontitis, which can cause serious damage to your mouth and general health.
What Are the Effects?
Gum disease increases your risk of:
- Receding gums
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Heart disease
Treatment for Gum Disease
Never attempt to treat gum disease on your own. Always consult a dental professional about your concerns so they can provide advice on your treatment options. Mild gum disease can usually be treated with more conscientious dental hygiene. Your dentist will perform a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup, then advise you on how to better care for your teeth. When brushing, be sure to brush along the gum line as well, making circular motions with a soft bristled tooth brush. Mouthwash is also a good idea.
More advanced gum disease requires professional treatment. Depending on your specific symptoms, Dr. Ed Lazer will suggest a course of treatment. In mild cases this may include scaling and root planing to clean the deep pockets of your gums around the roots of your teeth. Severe cases may be treated with laser dentistry.
Schedule a Consultation
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss amongst American adults. If you have been ignoring persistent gum bleeding and inflammation, don’t wait. Early treatment means better results. To schedule a consultation at Cosmetic and Advanced Dentistry in Baltimore, MD, contact us at (410) 697-6290.