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.