Gum Disease Treatment for Marshall
The most common disease in the U.S. today is actually gum disease. Nearly half of the entire adult population has it, and many are completely unaware because the symptoms can be very easy to miss at first (it is especially common for senior citizens). Gum disease typically starts with very minor symptoms, but it can eventually develop into a very serious health concern, and it has been shown to be strongly connected to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even dementia. Your dentist in Marshall, Dr. Charles Parker, understands how important your gum health is, which is why he wants you to know more about gum disease, as well as how you can help prevent and treat it.
The Symptoms of Gum Disease
Your gums, just like your teeth, can eventually become infected and start to break down if they are not properly cleaned every day; this is what constitutes gum disease. It comes in two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis refers to minor gum disease, while periodontitis refers to a more advanced infection.
Common symptoms for gingivitis include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender, puffy, or painful gums
- Gums that bleed whenever you brush or floss
Common symptoms of periodontitis:
- Receding gums (teeth that appear longer)
- Bacteria-filled pockets along the gum line
- Loose teeth, and eventually, tooth loss
Gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss for people over age 35. It is also one of the primary reasons that dental implants fail. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prevent any of these problems from happening.
How We Treat Gum Disease
Like most dental problems, the best approach involves prevention. If you brush, floss, and get regular dental cleanings in Marshall with us at least twice a year, you’ll be able to stop gum disease in its tracks most of the time. If you develop gingivitis, however, we may need to perform extra cleanings to control the infection. We may also recommend that you use a special kind of mouthwash.
For patients with periodontitis, we treat the condition using two procedures called scaling and root planing.
Scaling is like a dental cleaning specifically for your gums. For this, we will use small tools to gently clear away plaque and bacteria that has built up along the gum line. After this, root planing will be used to shape the rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots in order to prevent plaque from gathering there in the future. We will use local anesthetic for these procedures, so you should be completely comfortable the entire time. These treatments may take multiple appointments to complete, and we might use antibiotic therapy to make sure you don’t become infected again between them.
Keep an Eye on Your Gums
Often, the condition of the gums is a good indicator of a person’s overall health, so taking care of them is extremely important. If you’re currently experiencing any of the symptoms we listed above, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. The sooner we’re able to catch your gum disease, the easier it will be to treat. Be sure to call us today if you have any questions!