Gum disease and you

Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that support your teeth .This disease can cause permanent damage such as bone loss and tooth loss . While we know that flossing and brushing is so important sometimes periodontal disease can sneak up on us and needs to be treated in order to keep your mouth healthy . 

 The first form of gum disease is gingivitis , Gingivitis is a milder form of the disease that can actually be reversed by brushing and flossing daily. You may have gingivitis if you notice any of these signs :

  • Swollen Gums
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • gums that are tender or painful to the touch 
  • bleeding gums or bleeding after brushing

If you notice any of these signs it is very important to see your dentist or dental hygienist so they can help you treat this gingivitis before it turns into the more serious form of gum disease .

 

The more serious form of gum disease is periodontal disease. At this point in the mouth the gums are infected and this infection can cause a lot of damage and ends with tooth loss. The first line of defense for this would be scaling and root planing ( See our blog on scaling and root planing  https://advanceddentalcenters.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/what-is-scaling-and-root-planing/) . This will help remove the harmful plaque and tarter that is forming under the gum line and inflaming and infecting the gum tissue. Normally after scaling and root planing a patient is going to be put on a 3 month hygiene recall so that the hygenist can monitor the gums and see if more steps should be taken to control the periodontal disease. 

Some signs of periodontal disease 

  • Gums that have pulled away from teeth 
  • gums that bleed easily 
  • red swollen tender gums
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste 
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite 

 When scaling and root planing does not work for a patient the next step would be to see a periodontist . This is a Doctor who specializes in gums and see if you would be a candidate for surgery to repair your  gums. 

If you feel like you may have some of these signs you should give us a call to set up a consultation appointment with our doctors . Getting the problem solved at the first sign is the best way to prevent gum disease . 

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Fluoride and why its important

Fluoride is an amazing mineral that protects against tooth decay . Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process. It helps keep the enamel of your tooth strong and solid . This is helpful since decay is caused by a bacteria in the mouth that produces acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth . Fluoride helps re-mineralize the tooth surfaces and prevent cavities from forming. 

You can get fluoride from your own tap water , or from your toothpaste or fluoride visit during your routine cleaning visits. Making sure you are rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash will help not only prevent new cavities but also help limit the growth of new cavities . It also helps reduce the effects of plaque while strengthening your tooth enamel.