Did you know that gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is the leading cause of adult tooth loss among American adults, as well as one of the most widespread health problems on the planet? This infection is no joke, and our two experienced dentists take it very seriously here at Jacksonville Complete Dentistry. Our goal is to treat any suspicious symptoms as early as possible before they cause significant, permanent damage.
Do your gums regularly bleed when you brush or floss? Does your soft tissue look overly red or puffed up? These are warning signs of a periodontal infection! Don’t hesitate to contact our Jacksonville dental office location right away.
We feel that it is important that our patients understand gum disease. Only then can we understand the importance of treatment. First, it is important to understand that gum disease is not an infection but rather an immune response. We all have plaque on our teeth. This is the white soft buildup that can be easily scraped off. When plaque is not 100% removed from the teeth, it begins to steal minerals from the saliva and build into tartar. Tartar often can be nearly as hard as bone. The toothbrush and floss now are no match.
Our bodies recognize the tartar buildup as a foreign invader. This leads to an immune response and inflammation, bad breath, and gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing. This is gingivitis. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with the help of your dental hygienist at preventive dental appointments.
If gingivitis remains untreated, it will generally progress. This is when things get dangerous. The body cannot get rid of the invader with the immune response that it developed and will take things to the next level. What results is a loss of tooth attachment and an irreversible loss of jawbone. At this point the teeth can appear longer, begin to become loose, and eventually be lost. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, we encourage you to contact us for a consult.
Scaling & root planing is the most common form of therapy we recommend for these kinds of infections. Unlike a regular cleaning, this in-depth procedure goes deeper by targeting the areas under your gum tissue and eliminating accumulations of plaque and tartar. Then, we pinpoint the rough surfaces of your tooth roots, which are gradually smoothed so that they will no longer attract the same high level of decay. Our goal is to encourage your gum tissue to successfully reattach to the teeth and accelerate the healing process as well.
Do you have more questions about gum disease in Jacksonville? For your convenience, we’ve gathered a few of the most common questions we get about this serious oral health issue. At Jacksonville Complete Dentistry, we firmly believe in the power of patient education, so feel free to call us if you don’t see the information you’re looking for and we’ll be happy to help.
There are two main stages of gum disease. The initial stage, gingivitis, causes puffy, bright red gums that bleed easily, especially when the teeth are brushed or flossed. At this point, the infection in the gum tissue hasn’t caused any permanent damage. Treating gingivitis with periodontal therapy treatments like scaling and root planning can eliminate the infection and reverse the symptoms, essentially “curing” it.
However, the more advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis, cannot be cured. This stage indicates that the bacteria have strengthened and spread and are causing irreversible damage to your jawbone and the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place. You may need to see a specialist for more invasive periodontal therapy treatments in order to manage your symptoms and save your smile. Thankfully, we always provide a thorough gum health check during every routine checkup in order to spot and stop gum disease as early as possible.
While anyone can develop gum disease, some habits and conditions can put you at a higher risk, like:
While more research is needed, most experts believe that the bacteria and inflammation associated with this common oral health issue can have a significant influence on your overall wellbeing. Recent studies have linked gum disease to a higher risk of memory loss, rheumatoid arthritis, and respiratory infections. Some researchers have found that those with unhealthy gums are three times as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association strongly encourage proper oral hygiene in order to keep your smile and heart healthy.
Even though gum disease is incredibly common, there are plenty of ways you can combat its earliest symptoms and prevent it from developing in the first place. To protect your gums from bacteria and infection, remember to:
It’s essential to treat gum disease as early as possible, so call us right away if you’re concerned about unhealthy, puffy, or bleeding gums. If any traces of periodontal disease are discovered, we’ll help you restore your health and smile brighter with gum disease therapy.