Gum disease can threaten your oral health and cause other problems. Our Victoria dentists explain how to prevent periodontitis and improve gum health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – bacteria that builds up on your teeth, creating toxins that can affect the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
Though it might be painless at first and progress gradually, gum disease can have serious consequences. Not only could you suffer tooth loss, but because gum health interconnects with many other aspects of oral and physical health, this infection can put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is why it is essential that we do not allow it to progress to the more serious stages.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include:
Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is the more serious form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums recede and bacteria eventually fills pockets between gums and teeth. Light to moderate bone loss in the jaw can also happen.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease can have severe outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and update them about any changes in your oral health, gum sensitivity or soreness
How Your Dentist Can Help Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They’ll ask if you’ve noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, whether you’ve been following your regular oral care routine, and whether can answer questions about oral hygiene and care.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Dr. Todd Jones Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we offer a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure can reinforce or thicken gums, protecting against the damaging effects of gum recession and potentially helping to improve the appearance of your smile.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique is an option for addressing receding gums without the use of a scalpel or sutures. This technique involves the dentist using a needle to make a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue, through which they use special instruments to gently loosen the gum tissue. The gumline is gently adjusted to cover the exposed root structure.
Teeth & Gum Contouring
These cosmetic procedures can help improve your smile’s overall aesthetics. The teeth contouring procedure consists of excess tooth material being removed in order to reshape chipped, uneven or poorly aligned teeth, while excess gum tissue is removed to contour or lift gums.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding dental or oral health. For an accurate diagnosis of your condition, please make an appointment with your dentist.