Gum Disease: Prevention & Treatment
Gum disease, known as gingivitis, affects nearly half of all U.S. adults over the age of 30 according to a recent study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In addition to early warning signs, there are ways to prevent gum disease as well as ways to effectively treat your condition. At Cherrywood Dental, we offer a variety of options to get your gums back in working order.
What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
Gum disease is caused by a surplus of bacteria in your mouth. As bacteria linger on your teeth, it can turn to a plaque which, without proper cleaning, will harden to tartar. Once the bacteria have reached this calcified state, it must be removed by a dental professional to prevent the onset of periodontal disease.
There are several ways to detect the early warning signs of gum disease, which would warrant a visit to the dental professional. The most prominent symptom would be swollen or tender gums that could result in sensitivity to temperatures and difficulty chewing. Another (rather unpleasant) sign is persistent bad breath. On rare occasions, a gum abscess can leave pus oozing from the teeth.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease can be prevented by a strict course of action that controls bacteria and prevents the build-up of plaque. Daily flossing and brushing are de rigueur, as well as regular professional cleanings to get those hard to reach areas extra clean. At Cherrywood Dental, we offer incentives to encourage you to make your oral health a priority.
Additional steps you can take to prevent gum disease include:
Stop smoking. Smokers are seven times more likely to acquire periodontitis than non-smokers, and some treatments can be less successful for those who smoke.
Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can help your teeth. Avoiding processed foods and too many fizzy, sugary drinks is also important, as well as trying steering clear of bathing your teeth in sweets like lollipops and sugar-rich gum.
Reduce your daily levels of stress: Too much stress weakens the immune system opening the door for bacteria to form on your teeth and gums – the precursor to gingivitis and other periodontal diseases.
Stop wear & tear on your teeth: Let our team at Cherrywood Dental know if you struggle with bruxism – excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching. These involuntary habits can wear away the teeth and eventually have an effect on your gums. We can help you address this issue and let you know the options available to decrease the frequency and long-term effects.
How to Treat Gum Disease
There are many ways in which gum disease is treated, depending on how much the condition has progressed. Surgical treatments include:
Pocket Reduction Surgery: Gum tissue is folded back and the bacteria that has built up in the “pocket” is cleaned away. Surfaces of damaged bone can also be smoothed at the same time to make it easy for the tissue to reattach itself to the bone.
Soft Tissue Grafts: Using a flap of tissue from the gum or mouth to enlarge the existing gums.
Guided Tissue Regeneration: This procedure helps bone and tissue to regrow around a tooth that is in danger. The soft tissue is pulled away, the tooth is cleaned and the infected tissues are removed. A small GTR membrane is then placed between the tooth and the tissue to separate them so that slow-growing fibers will advance to the area along with bone cells.
Bone Grafts: Similar to a Guided Tissue Regeneration, the bone is filled in with graft material to encourage re-growth after the tooth has been cleaned and pulled away from the soft tissue.
We’re Here to Help
At Cherrywood Dental, our goal is to promote healthy teeth and gums for life. We can guide you in the habits needed to keep your smile beautiful and robust. And if you’ve reached a point where prevention has turned to treatment, we are here for you. From dental cleanings to full mouth reconstruction, all procedures are performed by our caring, gentle and knowledgeable doctors and staff. Contact us today. We’d love to see your smile.
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Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist
Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...