It may surprise you that many adults in America suffer from some form of gum (periodontal) disease. This disease ranges from simple inflammation to extreme tissue and bone damage. Gum disease is a serious issue that should be dealt with immediately.
Periodontal disease is caused by the build up of "plaque" on your teeth from bacteria in your mouth. Once plaque rest on your teeth for a long period of time, it hardens to become "tartar". Only your dentist has the proper tools to remove tartar.
If you don't visit your dentist twice a year, this tartar eventually causes inflammation in your gums. This inflammation is called gingivitis - swelling and bleeding on your gums. Gingivitis can be reversed depending on how well you brush and floss each day.
If your gums get worse, you will begin seeing periodontitis symptoms, which infect pockets around your teeth. Plaque begins to grow under the gum and eventually breaks down the tissue and bone around the tooth. If not treated, your teeth will fall out.
But don't lose hope. You can stop, or completely get rid of this disease by taking these preventative oral health measures.
How to Get Rid of Gum Disease
1. Schedule a Dentist Appointment. Scheduling an appointment with your dentist should be your number one priority. Your dentist has the proper tools, training and medications to help you fight this disease before it gets worse.
2. Scaling & Root Planing (Deep Cleaning). Ask your dentist for a scaling and root planing deep cleaning. This type of cleaning is specifically tailored for periodontal disease patients. The dentist will scrape away the tartar build up near the gum line, and get rid of any bacteria spots on your teeth.
3. Medication. Ask your dentist about any of these periodontitis medications that may prevent you from surgery.
- Antimicrobial mouthrinse
- Antibiotic gel
- Antiseptic chip
- Enzyme suppressant
- Antibiotic microspheres
- Oral antibiotics
4. Surgery. If medication and deep cleanings don't work, consider having surgery. There are two types of surgeries you can get: flap surgery and bone and tissue grafts. Flap surgery involves removing the build up of tartar on your teeth by lifting up the gums and scraping the tartar away. After that, your dentist will realign your gums to fit more tightly around the tooth, preventing more pockets from forming. Bone and tissue grafting involve regenerating the tooth by using synthetic bone to patch up areas of bone loss.
5. Don't smoke. If you smoke, you are four times more likely to get gum disease. The chemicals made in a cigarettes increase the build up of tartar on your teeth. Your immune system is also weakened by smoking, which inhibits you from fighting this disease once it starts. Any excessive form of tobacco can also increase your risk of periodontal disease.
6. Brush twice a day, floss everyday and visit your dentist twice a year. This is pretty straightforward. Surgery and medication can only help you to a certain extent. Without taking care of your teeth daily, you're still at risk. When you brush, make sure you use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride in your toothpaste is used to help fight cavities and bacteria.
But, brushing and flossing isn't enough. Everyone, eventually, builds up plaque on their teeth. That's why you have to routinely visit your dentist, so they can remove it and properly clean your gums.
Gum disease is a serious issue that many adults suffer with, but you can easily nip it in the bud by following these steps. At Austin Family Dentistry, we want to help you overcome this debilitating problem. Contact us today to get started.