Roughly 1 in 20 American adults has severe gum disease, while nearly 1 in 6 seniors citizens has severe gum disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.
At the same time, the American Dental Hygienists Association reports that 80 percent of Americans will have gum disease at some point in their lives.
In dentistry, February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. Our dentists want everyone in and around San Antonio, TX, to know that we are here to help you treat and prevent gum disease.
Whether you have had gum disease, currently have it, or may have it in the future, take some time to review what you can do in the fight against periodontal disease.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. It is the result of an infection of your gum tissues. This infection is caused by bacteria that forms plaque, a sticky film that forms on your teeth.
With proper oral hygiene and a balanced diet, you will reduce your risk of developing gum disease. On the other hand, poor oral hygiene and using tobacco products can greatly increase your risk of developing periodontal problems.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
Gum disease often develops in stages. The mild form of gum disease is called gingivitis. In the early stages, you may notice these symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
Healthy gums look pink and feel firm to the touch. If you don’t take steps to reverse gingivitis, it can develop into periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease.
As periodontitis gets worse, so do its symptoms:
- Receding gums
- Constant bad breath
- Sore, tender, or painful gums
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
If you notice any of the symptoms above, call 210-819-5233 to reach Advanced Dental Associates. We want to help as soon as possible.
How Can Gum Disease Be Treated?
This depends on whether you have mild or advanced gum disease.
In the early stages, you may be able to treat and reverse your infection by following the American Dental Association’s recommendations for daily hygiene. Every day you should brush your teeth (twice for two minutes at a time) and floss between your teeth and gums. This removes bacteria that cause gum disease.
If you bleed when you brush and floss, this is a good indicator that you haven’t been doing what you should. By starting, you should notice the bleeding become less and less common. You also may notice changes in the appearance of your gums.
If your problem persists in spite of your efforts, then you already may have advanced gum disease. This is when you should definitely call our dentist office if you live in or near San Antonio.
Your treatment may include:
- Scaling and root planing — This is a deeper cleaning than you receive during a routine cleaning and examination. During this procedure, a dentist or dental hygienist will get under your gumline to remove plaque and tartar buildup around the roots of your teeth.
- LANAP® gum disease treatment — LANAP is an alternative to gum surgery. Instead of cutting into your gums with a scalpel, we use a dental laser to remove the infected gum tissue.
What Are The Advantages Of Laser Gum Disease Treatment?
We called our practice Advanced Dental Associates for a reason, and LANAP is a great example of an advanced treatment.
LANAP is an abbreviation for laser-assisted new attachment procedure. By using a laser, our dentists can evaporate the infected gum tissue in your mouth.
This means we do not have to cut into your gums. This means less bleeding during the procedure. This also means you likely won’t need stitches, and you won’t need to return to our office to have your stitches removed.
With laser treatments, we are able to preserve more of the healthy gum tissue. We are able to seal that tissue as the infected tissue is removed, and your recovery time will be shorter than it would be with gum surgery.
Stay Aware To Fight Gum Disease
The bacteria that cause gum disease live inside your mouth. This is why daily care (brushing and flossing) combined with regular professional dental cleanings are both important for keeping your mouth free from infections.