Research shows that up to 80 percent of American adults has some degree of gum disease. Unfortunately, the condition can have a genetic link. Therefore, if one or both of your parents have gum disease, then there’s a chance you will too. Nevertheless, the majority of cases result from poor oral hygiene. Regardless of the cause, periodontal therapy in Springfield can help you avoid the harmful consequences of gum disease.
Knowing the Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is separated into phases. The first is gingivitis, which is often difficult for the layperson to recognize. Be on the lookout for red, swollen gums that may bleed when you floss.
However, don’t think that bleeding gums means you should stop flossing. On the contrary, flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line. Hiding in plaque is the bacteria that causes gum disease to begin. Therefore, better flossing and more frequent brushing may be helpful in stopping gingivitis from becoming periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the next phase of gum disease. This condition is marked by:
- Gum recession
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Enlarged gum pockets around your teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pus in between your teeth and gums
Without periodontal therapy from a family dentist in Springfield, advanced periodontitis may make tooth extraction unavoidable. Actually, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Periodontal Therapy in Springfield
If gingivitis is diagnosed during one of your regular dental checkups, then treatment may only require a thorough dental cleaning in our office and your commitment to a more stringent oral hygiene program at home with a soft toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, floss and antiseptic mouth rinse.
However, if the disease has advanced and become periodontitis, then more aggressive therapy will be necessary. This two-step procedure is called scaling and root planing.
During scaling, bacteria, plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) are removed from the surfaces of your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Once this is completed, root planing can begin.
This step smoothes the rough root surfaces, so that plaque is less likely to stick to them. If plaque cannot adhere to root surfaces, then bacteria will not be able to invade and infect gum tissue or the underlying bone structure.
Let your dentist know if any of your family members have had gum disease, or if you’re noticing any of the symptoms listed above. And be sure to schedule regular dental checkups for yourself and each member of the family.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Olson is a family dentist in Springfield. He and his team offer comprehensive dentistry to patients of all ages. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child.