Adults lose more teeth due to gum disease than to cavities.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is rarely painful. When the brushing and flossing is not done properly, the accumulation of plaque around the teeth build up and mineralizes to become tartar which causes gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis are gums that turn red, become swollen or even bleed.
As gum disease gets worse, the gum and the bone tissue supporting the teeth gets destroyed. Without treatment, the teeth loosen and eventually fall out.
How to prevent gum disease?
You must brush and floss your teeth regularly. It is also very important to have a dental check up every 6 months because even if you have an excellent hygiene gum disease can develop anyway.
What are the possible treatments?
A complete examination will allow us to evaluate the stage of the gum disease you are at. If in the early stage, maybe you will just need a scaling of your teeth and reminder of the proper brushing and flossing technique or a periodontal cleaning which is a cleaning of the roots below the gum line. In the more advance stages of gum disease, surgery is often the only answer. At the very last stage sometimes even extraction are necessary.
What are the goals of gum surgery?
The goal is to remove all of the tartar off the root of the tooth and to lower and reshape the gum line up to where the bone lost level is so it is easier to remove plaque in the future.
What to do once treatment is completed?
Brush and floss properly and regularly. You should visit your dentist for follow ups as recommended. Gum disease can re-appear even if treated. With the help of your dentist, you will keep your smile and we'll help you work your way to a healthy smile.