Gum Disease is a Slippery Slope
While gum disease can be the cause of an underlying condition such as nutrition deficiency, it’s typically associated with poor oral hygiene. Failing to brush and floss daily can cause plaque and debris to build up which can lead to inflammation known as gum disease.
Over time, it can develop into a serious condition that can cause tooth loss and permanent damage. Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist for a cleaning as well as developing good hygiene habits can help prevent gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a bacterial infection that occurs when teeth and gums aren’t properly cleaned and cared for. It causes a breakdown between your gums and the underlying tissue. This can lead to inflammation and eventually can cause tooth loss and other serious health conditions.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
It’s important to look for warning signs of gum disease because its effects can worsen over time and lead to infection and tooth loss. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Painful teeth and gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen gums
Treating Gum Disease
When diagnosed early on, gum disease is treatable and can be reversed. Dr. Hausten can assess the severity of your gum disease, and recommend the best course of treatment to restore your oral health. Some of these treatments may include:
Antibacterial Mouthwash – In addition to your normal brushing and flossing routine, using antibacterial mouthwash daily can help prevent the bacteria that causes gum disease and help reverse mild cases.
Scaling and Root Planing – When you receive a deep cleaning from Dr. Hausten, she’ll use techniques called scaling and root planing. Scaling will allow us to remove any plaque and tartar. During root planing, we’ll smooth your tooths roots which will facilitate their reattachment to your teeth.
Brushing and Flossing Daily – After your deep cleaning, it’s going to be up to you and your daily brushing and flossing habits to maintain healthy gums. In addition to scheduling biannual visits with Dr. Hausten, you’ll want to brush and floss your teeth daily and rinse between meals to ensure your gums and teeth are free of harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease.
Antibiotics – In severe cases, antibiotics are prescribed to get rid of any infection.
Visit Your Dentist Biannually – One cleaning isn’t enough. You’ll want to schedule biannual visits at our Wheaton office so we can ensure your gums are in the best of health. If you’re recovering from periodontitis, we may recommend coming in for more frequent visits to help prevent the risk of reinfection.
In more advanced cases, treatment can include removing damaged tissue or surgery. Making regular visits to Dr. Hausten will allow us to check for early warning signs of gum disease so that it doesn’t become an even bigger health issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to scheduling biannual checkups at our Wheaton office, you’ll want to follow a few recommendations to keep your gums healthy, including:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Rinse between meals
- Avoid tobacco
- Address teeth grinding
- Eat tooth-healthy foods including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C
- Schedule professional cleanings twice a year
While these remedies may help keep your gum disease at bay, once the symptoms have set in, you’ll need to have a deep cleaning to restore your oral health.
After a deep cleaning, any discomfort and swelling will subside within a few weeks. The time it takes for the symptoms to subside depends on the extent of the infection. In addition to following any recommendations by Dr. Hausten, you’ll want to rinse with warm saltwater to keep your mouth free of bacteria and promote gum healing. In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers and ice to help with any discomfort and swelling.
No, gum disease will not go away without treatment or professional care. Without proper treatment, gum disease can advance into more dangerous stages and have serious health consequences. These include sore and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing, tooth decay, and bone or tooth loss. Even with good oral hygiene, patients are still at risk of developing gum disease.
Tartar, plaque, and bacteria build up below the gum line and in difficult places where your toothbrush can’t reach. That’s why scheduling regular dental cleanings is just as important as practicing proper oral hygiene habits at home. Dr. Hausten will remove the hardened plaque below the gum line and smooth the surface of the roots, restoring the health of your teeth and gums.
Addressing issues with gum disease may prevent serious health consequences. The following conditions have been linked to untreated periodontal disease:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Respiratory disease
If you have gum disease, contact our office to schedule an appointment by calling (630) 653-3440. We’ll treat your gum disease so you can begin reversing the negative consequences of the condition.
Keeping Your Gums & Teeth in The Best of Health
With the right care, gum disease is preventable and treatable. Dr. Hausten and her team will ensure you’re taking steps towards a lifetime of healthy smiles. Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling (630) 653-3440. Caring for your gums and teeth today will keep them in the best shape for tomorrow.