Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection in your mouth that can affect the gum tissue and supporting bone. It is caused by an excess accumulation of plaque and bacteria around the teeth and under the gum tissue. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, which is why it is very important to visit Midland Dental Center for preventive exams and professional cleanings.
Types of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the early form of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
With periodontitis, plaque and bacteria have hardened and built up in excess around and under the gum line. Over time, this causes the gum tissue and supporting bone to break down and be destroyed permanently. This same plaque and bacteria in your mouth can travel to your heart and other vital organs causing problems.
While poor oral hygiene is one of the easiest ways to develop gum disease, certain factors can increase your risk for developing it, including:
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Old fillings
Gum Disease Treatment
At Midland Dental Center, Dr. Green treats gum disease with a method called Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy. The purpose of this is to remove all the bacterial toxins and plaque to allow your gums to heal. This can reduce some of the causes of gum disease to a more manageable level for your individual immune system to handle. By incorporating the laser, the gum tissue is dehydrated and cauterized, forcing the bacteria to die off. We also use a series of systemic and local antibiotics to help kill the bacteria and keep it from returning.
Gum Disease Prevention
In order to prevent gum disease, it’s vital to see Dr. Green and our hygiene team on a regular basis. Yearly X-rays and exams are necessary to determine the gum and bone health of each tooth to prevent future problems. It’s also necessary to brush your teeth twice daily (if not more) and floss at least once per day. We also recommend the use of an anti-cavity and antibacterial mouthwash.