Posts for category: Periodontal Health
Despite the fact that more American adults are keeping more of their natural teeth well into their golden years than ever before, tooth loss remains a big problem. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gum disease remains the leading cause of tooth loss, which affects millions of Americans every year. But when caught and treated early, periodontal (also known as gum disease) can be reversed or managed to prevent permanent damage and tooth loss. The general dentists at Knutsen Family Dentistry in Vermillion, SD, offer preventive and restorative dental services for the entire family.
Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment in Vermillion, SD
There are a number of factors at play when it comes to your oral health. Genetics and family history, your lifestyle, and your oral hygiene routines and habits are all good predictors of your general oral health. For starters, the ADA recommends a check up and professional cleaning every six months to a year. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and to identify potential problems before they can progress and cause lasting damage.
Gum disease is progressive, meaning that it develops slowly and generally gets worse over time without treatment. The first stage is gingivitis, where you might notice that your gums appear red and swollen and bleed when you brush and floss your teeth. If treated in time, gingivitis can be reversed and doesn't cause lasting damage to your gums and the underlying tissue.
The next stage is periodontitis, which does result in some irreversible damage to the connective tissue and results in "pockets" between the teeth and gums which can trap bacteria and cause plaque and tartar buildup and inflammation. Even if you have periodontitis, your general dentist can still help prevent further damage and get your oral health back on track.
The last stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, which results in permanent damage like bone loss and permanent structural damage that can result in changes to your bite pattern and ultimately tooth loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most common warning signs of periodontal disease include:
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Gum recession
- Signs of infection like pus around a tooth
- Loose teeth
- Noticeable changes to your bite (how your upper and lower jaw fit together)
Find a General Dentist in Vermillion, SD
For more information about periodontal disease and how to protect yourself and your family from oral health problems and tooth loss, contact Knutson Family Dentistry today by calling (605) 857-8008 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.
Next to tooth decay, gum disease is one of the most concerning issues for both patients and dentists. It affects close to half of adult Americans according to a CDC study. People who have this oral health concern either have mild, moderate or advanced symptoms. Learn the signs of gum disease and if you’re experiencing any of them, make time to visit a Dr. Matt or Dr. Richard Knutson at Knutson Family Dentistry for a checkup. Easy solutions are available when it’s caught in its early stages.
What Is Gum Disease?
The gums are a very important part of your overall dental health. They keep your teeth firmly rooted, strong and in good condition. When bacteria-filled plaque forms around the base of the teeth, it can begin to infect the gums, causing them to become inflamed and red. Eventually, the gums begin to separate from the teeth and more bacteria settles into the pockets. If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
Signs of a Problem
Luckily, there are a number of clear signs of gum disease to look for so that you and your general dentist can stop it in its tracks. Here are a few:
- Persistently odorous breath that smells and tastes strange.
- Bleeding and red gums.
- Gums that can be pulled back from around the teeth (pockets).
- Healthy teeth that are loose.
Treatments for Gum Disease
If you do have gum disease, treatments are available at the dentist's office that can save your teeth—even in advanced stages. The first line of defense is usually scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning of the plaque around the gumline. Medication may be prescribed to eliminate the infection as well as much more regular brushing and flossing at home. In advanced cases that can’t be solved with scaling, periodontal surgery and bone grafting may be necessary to save the teeth.
Don’t wait until the symptoms of gum disease get out of control. Call Knutson Family Dentistry at (605) 857-8008 today to schedule a checkup.
Types of Gum Disease
Untreated periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
There are many forms of periodontitis. The most common ones include the following.
- Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
- Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
- Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.
Visit www.perio.org for more information