Preserve the health of your mouth by knowing the facts.

In the United States, 47.2% of all adults 30 years or older have some form of gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is typically the consequence of improper flossing or brushing, which leads to the development of plaque. The treatment of gum disease in its early stages can be simple, but most people aren’t aware of the problem until it is more advanced.

Learn 5 of the most important things you need to remember about periodontal disease and its treatment from a dentist in Griffin, GA.

1. Gum disease is silent until the later stages.

Gum disease refers to inflammation and infection in the gums and bones that support your teeth. It usually occurs because of plaque buildup. When you forget to brush your teeth, a sticky film of bacteria and food particles builds up around and over the enamel. This is plaque. Plaque eats away at your tooth enamel, which is what protects the tooth from decay.

After a few days, this plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which forms around your gums, making it very difficult to clean your gums and teeth completely. The tartar builds over time and causes inflammation, which leads to gingivitis.

With gingivitis, you experience swelling in your gums. They’ll look red and will easily bleed when you brush or floss. At this point, you may only be worried about how to stop your gums bleeding and may not realize it’s a sign of gum disease.

When bacteria seeps under the gumline, it begins affecting your bones. You may notice your gums pulling away from your teeth and creating pockets where bacteria and plaque will gather. This is the first stage of periodontitis.

If left untreated, periodontitis gets worse, eroding periodontal ligaments, as well as the bone that holds your teeth in place. Some signs you may notice are bad breath and pus that develops if you have a periodontal abscess in one of the pockets in your gums. Pain is common at this stage. Bone loss then continues, potentially leading to your teeth falling out.

2. Small preventative measures go a long way.

There are lots of things that you can do to prevent periodontitis, beginning with engaging in effective oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing. Brushing your teeth helps remove the plaque that builds up and triggers the problem, while flossing ensures food particles don’t remain trapped between your teeth, attracting bacteria.

It’s also crucial to get deep cleaning teeth services at your dentist’s office. Deep cleaning done by a professional removes plaque and tartar so that it doesn’t cause gum disease.

If you have early signs of gum disease, it’s essential to turn to your dentist for help, even if you’re taking all of the necessary steps to treat the problem. Your dentist will be able to spot any changes and make treatment recommendations.

3. Periodontal therapy is imperative beyond a certain stage of gum disease.

Once gum disease becomes periodontitis, meaning tartar has developed, and your gums have begun pulling away from your teeth, your dentist will most likely recommend periodontal therapy. This is because your toothbrush can’t reach into the periodontal pockets to remove dental bacteria. If you don’t remove this bacteria, the disease will progress.

4. Dental deep cleaning can get your gum health back on the right track.

Periodontal therapy (or deep cleaning) is necessary to prevent the progression of periodontitis once it has developed. Unfortunately, periodontitis is not reversible, so these deep cleanings are critical in stopping worsening symptoms and, in extreme cases, tooth loss.

5. What Is Involved in Periodontal Therapy?

A periodontal cleaning procedure begins with a standard dental cleaning to remove the top layers of plaque and tartar from your teeth.

The next step is scaling, which removes the tartar from under your gum line. When your gums recede, plaque and bacteria settle into those newly formed spaces. Scaling requires using specialized tools like ultrasonic cleaning devices.

After scaling comes root planing, which smooths out rough spots on your tooth’s root. This gets rid of any bacteria (and their hiding places) in these rough areas while also providing the gums with a smoother surface onto which to reattach.

Consult your dentist in Hampton, GA, for advice on the health of your gums.

If you have signs of gum disease, the best thing you can do is turn to a dental practice like Allred Family Dentistry. With our experience in helping people of all ages improve their oral health, we are ready to guide you through this process. Book your appointment with Allred Family Dentistry today to learn more.