Periodontal Therapy in Springfield, MO
Behind every beautiful smile are healthly gums. Your gums play a critical supporting role in the appearance of your teeth. Therefore, gum health should never be taken lightly. Here at Olson Family Dental in Springfield, MO, we make a point of evaluating your gum tissue at each one of your regularly scheduled dental checkups. This way, we can pinpoint trouble sooner rather than later. If one of our dental hygienists spots the early warning signs of developing gum disease, Dr. Olson and his team are ready with effective periodontal therapy.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is actually a bacterial infection. Most people know that there are some bacteria in the human mouth. Actually, there are millions. Some of those bacteria are essential to proper digestion. On the other hand, there are bacteria hiding in plaque that can ultimately lead to gingivitis and periodontitis, the two stages of gum disease. When not cleared away with proper brushing and flossing, plaque tends to settle along the gum line. Here, the bacteria excrete toxins that begin to destroy gum tissue.
The Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
As this destruction of gum tissue begins, there are visible signs of trouble. Gingivitis is marked by gums that go from soft pink to red, are swollen and may bleed when you brush or floss.
Normally, bleeding is an indication to stop what you’re doing. In the case of gum disease, however, bleeding is actually a sign that more brushing and flossing are necessary. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and flossing gets rid of plaque buildup between your teeth.
If a careful oral hygiene routine at home is not maintained, then gingivitis can become periodontitis. In this stage, the signs may include:
- Bad breath
- Receding gums that make your teeth look longer
- Enlarged gum pockets around teeth
- Pus in between teeth
- Shifting or loose teeth
Left untreated, periodontitis can necessitate tooth extraction.
Gum Disease and Your Overall Health
As if the consequences to oral health weren’t bad enough, periodontal disease can also negatively impact your general health. Studies indicate that the same bacteria behind gum disease may also be a contributing factor to several illnesses and diseases. Most notable is heart disease, our nation’s leading cause of death among both men and women. Scientists theorize that the bacteria that lead to periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream when your gums bleed. In the bloodstream, they attach to fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels, thus causing blood clots that may lead to heart attacks.
Other health conditions that have been linked to periodontal disease include:
- Pre-term births
Gum Disease Treatment in Springfield, MO
If we find the signs of gum disease at one of your dental checkups, then Dr. Olson will recommend a course of treatment to arrest the advance of this bacterial infection. Gum disease can’t be cured, but it can be stopped.