Many people suffer from gum diseases and may not even be aware of it. Gum disease needs to be treated by a dentist to ensure that you have optimal dental health. There are things you’ll want to know about this disease so you can take charge of your oral well-being.
What is Gum Disease?
Also referred to as a periodontal disease, it is caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria. This bacteria will inflame and infect the gums. It cannot be treated on your own and will require the help of a professional. There are two main types of periodontal disease:
• Gingivitis – mild form of gum disease. The gums will become red and swollen. They can bleed easily during brushing or flossing.
• Periodontitis – Serious health condition where the inflammation has spread below the gum line. This will affect the bones and tissues that are holding the teeth in place. Eventually, it will lead to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
There are several steps to ensure you don’t end up with gum disease:
• Brush at least twice daily, but preferably after every meal
• Floss once daily
• Eat a healthy diet
• Attend regular checkups and cleanings
• Avoid tobacco
Gum Disease Treatments
Once you begin to suffer from gum disease, you will need the help of your dentist to correct it. There are several treatments they can offer to alleviate the disease:
• Scaling and root planning – this is often referred to as a deep cleaning. The tartar and plaque that is below the gum line will be removed
• Rinses – prescription antimicrobial mouth rinses can help control bacteria and alleviate infections after surgery
• Antibiotic gels – after a deep cleaning, you may receive an antibiotic gel. This will be placed into the pockets of the gums and release medication over a week.
• Chlorhexidine chip – antiseptic-filled pieces of gelatin that can be placed in the pockets after a deep cleaning. They will control the bacteria and reduce the pocket size
• Oral Antibiotic – given to reduce any infection that might be found. It is usually used with a deep cleaning.
• Surgery – pocket reduction or tissue graft surgeries might be needed to fix the damage done by periodontal diseases.
These treatments have a good success rate if treatment starts early. If you have any questions or concerns about your gum health, you should always contact your dentist in Schenectady, NY.