Gum disease is a common condition that affects almost half of all Americans 30 years and older. Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and supporting bone. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease doesn’t always affect your whole mouth. It can in many cases affect only one tooth or a small area of your gum line.
To determine if you have gum disease, each tooth must be examined above and below the gum line by a dental professional. More teeth are lost because of gum disease than tooth decay, so it is very important to diagnose gum disease early and begin an effective treatment.
Most people don’t know they have gum disease because it’s painless. The first stage, called gingivitis, is easily reversed by cleaning and brushing the teeth thoroughly every day. If gingivitis progresses, the supporting bone that holds your teeth in place wears away, making the teeth loose. Infections then occur in these pockets which leads to more bone loss and eventually tooth loss.
If you think your might have gum disease here are the next steps you should take.
- Go see a dentist. A dentist will measure the pockets in your gums to determine whether you need a deep cleaning. In the early stages, the dentist might recommend just a routine cleaning and polish. If the gum disease has progressed the dentist might recommend scaling and root planing.
- Create a schedule with your dentist, making a plan for frequent cleanings. Frequent cleanings prevent plaque and bacteria buildup, which leads to gum disease.
- Step up efforts to have a good oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, water picking and oral rinsing can dramatically prevent the spread of gum disease. Getting into a routine of brushing and flossing after every meal could save your smile.
Want to learn more about treating gum disease? Come visit us at our Albuquerque office. Our staff will gently care for your teeth and gums and setup a plan to keep your mouth healthy. Having a healthy smile is painless when you visit the Terry Gomez Dental office.