With this terrible flu season still raging around us, it is easy to get caught up in all of the preventive measures and protective decisions to keep your family safe and healthy. We don’t blame you at all, but we wonder if you are also protecting your family from the infection that affects 80% of the population in the United States.
Are you protecting your family from gum disease? Do you know what your family needs to stay safe from this smile-killing infection? Gum disease is the number one cause of lost adult teeth, and it is known to be connected with other problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and multiple kinds of cancer.
Where the Problem Begins
Like all infections, gum disease has a beginning that doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, you probably won’t even notice this infection at first. It takes a dental professional to know the initial signs, and that means being seen regularly for checkups and cleanings.
The Bacteria Infection
Gum disease begins with a few harmful bacteria amongst the billions of bacteria that are already in your mouth. Those harmful bacteria begin attacking your gums just under the gumline.
You probably won’t notice a thing, but when you are sitting in our chair, we will see the beginning of damage. We will let you know that an infection has begun and take immediate action to remove the infection before it progresses.
Treating the Problem
Treating an initial infection is EASY compared to what comes next. A simple professional cleaning will get rid of the infection. We will use our dental cleaning tools to remove the infection and send you on your way with more information about how to keep your gums healthy.
When the Infection is Ignored
If every case of gum disease was as easy as the initial infection, we would never have to worry! Unfortunately, most a huge number of us are not seeing a dentist as often as we should. The result is a lot of untreated infections.
Bacteria Digs In
As we said above, gum disease begins with a simple infection that you probably won’t even notice. If you don’t see a dentist regularly, that infection will advance into advanced gum disease, or periodontitis.
You will notice your gums swelling and turning red. You might notice your gums bleeding while your brush your teeth. None of these things are normal. If you notice them, you will know that seeing a dentist is an immediate need.
Removal Becomes More Serious
We can still remove this infection, but it requires much more work! We will use lasers to remove bacteria from below your gum line. We use a process called scaling and root planing. This allows us to remove the bacteria from along your tooth root. We then smooth the tooth root so that bacteria cannot cling to your tooth as it was.
We might also recommend an antibiotic or high-grade mouth rinse to help you kick the infection completely. The important thing is that you get the infection cleared up before it becomes something much more serious.
The End of the Road
We call this last stage the end of the road because if you don’t take care of the infection here, you will end up losing your tooth. There’s no way around it. At this stage, the bacteria causing the infection has formed pockets along your tooth roots. These pockets are full of harmful bacteria that are attacking the bone structure, which will put your teeth at risk.
Teeth Are at Risk
At this stage, you should be very concerned about the possibility of losing one or more of your adult teeth. You will probably experience bleeding gums much of the time, and your teeth will begin to feel loose.
You are probably experience a very advanced infection, which means that more than just one tooth are affected. Removing this type of infection takes a lot more work than just a simple procedure like a cleaning.
Treatment is Limited
We offer pocket reduction surgery, which will help us remove the infection and put your gums back where they should be, but the process isn’t a walk in the park. We have to remove all of the infection that is reaching deep into your jawbone. We must also repair your gums so that they can go back to their function of protecting your sensitive tooth roots from damage.
As you can see, gum disease can become a very serious problem in a very limited amount of time. The best way to prevent gum disease altogether is to be sure you are brushing, flossing, and possibly using a great mouth rinse to remove bacteria.
You should also come in for a cleaning and exam once every six months. This will give us an opportunity to remove any infection we see and help you improve your hygiene habits to prevent further infection. Contact us today to set up your next visit!