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.