FAQ: Gum Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. Without treatment, gum disease has been linked to discomfort, a heightened risk of diseases like heart disease and stroke, and a greater risk of adult tooth loss. Many people wonder a lot of the same questions like, how do I prevent gum disease? We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding gum disease, along with their answers.
Question: What Are Risk Factors for Gum Disease?
Answer: Gum disease typically begins as inflammation, which can be caused by poor oral hygiene, smoking or tobacco use, family history, or an inflammatory illness. When the inflammation is left untreated, the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth. This can lead to a formation of pockets at the gum line for bacteria to infiltrate, which can lead to the advancement of gum disease.
Question: Are There Warning Signs?
Answer: Sudden changes in your gums, such as redness, soreness, or bleeding when your brush or floss are all possible signs of early gum disease known as gingivitis. See your dentist as soon as you notice any of these issues. Gingivitis can be reversed if treated early. Advanced gum disease cannot be reversed, and must instead be managed to protect you from periodontitis. Periodontitis is the advanced stage responsible for adult tooth loss.
Question: How Is It Managed or Treated?
Answer: A deep cleaning or periodontal cleaning is also known as scaling and root planing to remove plaque buildup from the teeth and roots. Cleaning the plaque and bacteria can reduce inflammation and help close deep periodontal pockets, improving your smile’s health. More advanced stages may need more advanced treatment.
Question: What Can I Do to Prevent It?
Answer: A good oral hygiene routine can help limit how much plaque can accumulate on the teeth in between dental cleanings. A professional cleaning every six months is just as important as daily hygiene to remove all plaque from your smile.