According to the CDC, more than 40 percent of American adults over age thirty have some level of gum disease, which can cause severe complications without treatment. Unfortunately, many are not diagnosed in the earliest and most treatable stages.
Your dentist in Phoenix, AZ, promotes prevention to help patients avoid complications like gum disease. Upon diagnosis, Dr. Matthew Milana also provides comprehensive treatment to restore patients to better oral health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an oral health condition that threatens the integrity of your teeth due to complex infections of the periodontal ligaments, bones, and related tissues that keep your teeth in position.
Gingivitis, considered early gum disease, is a reversible condition. Unfortunately, advanced periodontal disease is only treatable. However, your dentist can improve your oral health through specific treatments, preventing tooth loss and systemic health complications.
What Are the Health Complications Associated with Gum Disease?
Dentists and medical professionals have known for some time that untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss, heart and lung complications, and low birth weight in babies. But more recent studies link gum disease to:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Premature labor
Because the consequences of untreated gum disease are so severe, it’s critical to see your dentist if you notice symptoms or have not visited the dentist in a while.
Gum Disease Symptoms
For many people, gum disease—especially in the early stages—can be almost silent. You may notice subtle oral health changes, but it is easy to dismiss these issues as something else. For example, you may blame bleeding gums on your toothbrush or believe that you’re brushing too hard—maybe you are.
However, if you have not changed your toothbrush or the way you brush, bleeding gums warrant further investigation from a trained dentist.
Other symptoms of gum disease can include:
- Bad breath that returns despite brushing and flossing
- Loose or shifting teeth
- New or changing spaces between teeth
- Red, swollen, pocketing, or receding gums
- Teeth appearing longer due to gum recession
- Recurring or ongoing tooth sensitivity
Remember, you can have gum disease and have only one (or even none) of these symptoms. For this reason, establishing regular dental care—checkups and teeth cleanings—is critical.
Treating Gum Disease in Phoenix, AZ
Gum disease treatment varies based on your level of disease. However, treatment is typically ongoing and coupled with specific instructions for at-home care. These instructions can include an added oral hygiene routine, recommendations for special rinses, or prescribed medications like antibiotics.
In-office treatments may include deep cleaning below the gum lines and scaling and planing. Scaling and planing involve clearing deep infections and recontouring the tooth roots to better adhere to the healthier gum tissue.
If diagnosed in the gingivitis stage, your Phoenix dentist can often reverse the condition and restore you to complete oral health.
Gum Disease Causes and Prevention
Many factors can increase your risks for gum disease, including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Lack of dental care
- Tobacco use
- Genetic history
- Crooked teeth
- Loose restorations
- Ill-fitting prosthetics
The best ways to prevent gum disease are to mitigate your risks through prevention.
If you’re skipping brushing and flossing sessions, set a goal to brush and floss at least twice daily or after each meal. Additionally, following standard guidelines suggesting twice-yearly dental visits is critical.
Other preventive measures include:
- if you smoke or use tobacco, consider quitting.
- If your teeth are misaligned, talk to your dentist about orthodontic options.
- Immediately report loose and ill-fitting restorations and prosthetics to your dentist.
Contact Us for Compassionate Periodontal Treatment Near Me
Gum disease may feel overwhelming. We understand that you’re nervous and maybe even embarrassed. Don’t be! We are here for you throughout treatment, and our only goal is to keep you healthy.
Give us a call today to get started.