Gum disease is a common problem for adults in the United States. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease can range from red gums with some inflammation to major issues, such as damage to the tissues and bones supporting the teeth and causing teeth to fall out. Seeing a gum problem and disease specialist in Orange County can help you to stop or slow down the progression of gum disease and point you in the direction of a healthier mouth.
What causes gum disease?
Food particles and bacteria in your mouth cause plaque to form on your teeth. When the plaque isn’t removed, it hardens and causes tartar. The bacteria causes your gums to become inflamed and red, a condition also known as gingivitis.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can result in periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that causes gums to pull away from your teeth and form infected areas.
Periodontitis can also destroy the bone that supports your tooth and cause you to lose your affected teeth. Unfortunately, its effects span beyond just the mouth – periodontitis can also increase your risk of experiencing other health problems, such as a heart attack or a stroke.
Signs of gum disease and periodontitis include swollen gums, bad breath, loose teeth, pus between teeth and gums, receding gum line, red gums, or gums that are tender or bleed when touched (healthy gums are pink and firm).
There are several different variations of periodontitis, so it’s best to see your gum problem and disease specialist in Orange County to know for sure what you are dealing with. Fortunately, gum disease and periodontitis are both preventable, so you can work to treat your current issue and also prevent it from returning later with the right tools and the knowledge of how gum disease forms and its risk factors.
How is gum disease treated?
The treatment that you need for gum disease will depend on how progressed it is, your health history, and other factors. Your gum problem and disease specialist in Orange County will be able to help you determine the best treatment option. Some of the most common treatments include:
- A thorough cleaning by your dentist. The removal of plaque and tartar will be removed from the gum line. You may need to have more cleanings than usual if you have a history of gum disease.
- Scaling and planing. This is a type of deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, and also smooths out rough areas on your tooth's root.
- Surgery. Surgical procedures that lift the gums in order to remove tartar, smooth irregular surfaces of damaged teeth, and even bone grafts or soft tissue grafts might be utilized to correct damage caused by gum disease.
How can I prevent gum disease?
An important aspect of managing gum disease is preventing the disease from returning once it has been treated. Your gum problem and disease specialist in Orange County can help you with some tips tailored to your situation regarding the prevention of gum disease. However, there are some common methods of prevention:
- Brush your teeth regularly. Aim for twice a day for two minutes each time. You should also be flossing every day.
- Use a mouth rinse that helps to protect against the formation of plaque.
- Avoid things that can damage your gum tissue, like smoking cigarettes.
- See your dentist regularly (every six months) for a cleaning and exam. Your dentist can scrape away at any plaque that has built up at the gum line, which will help to prevent gum disease.
Since it is so important to treat gum disease early in order to prevent major damage to your teeth, you should contact our office at the first sign of any issues. Your gum problem and disease specialist in Orange County will be able to diagnose your oral health issues and also provide you with the best possible plan of action for treatment and restoring your healthy smile. Attempting to treat gum disease problems on your own can have negative results, so trust the care of an experienced and knowledgeable professional when it comes to your teeth. Your dentist can also help you understand the exact steps you need to follow at home to keep your mouth healthy, and even recommend products that are tailored to your specific needs.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with our office, simply contact us today. We are available to answer any questions that you might have.