You probably didn’t know that gum disease affects at least half of Americans over the age of thirty. Did you know that it’s the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults? Periodontal (gum) disease is easy to overlook or ignore because you may not even realize you have it. It’s sneaky and there aren’t many obvious symptoms or pain at first. Dr. Gilbert Lopez and your team at New Smile Dental want you to know about it, so you can understand how general dentistry prevents gum disease in Fort Smith.
What is Periodontal Disease?
When plaque and tartar build up cause your gums to separate from your teeth, harmful bacteria can enter below your gum line. This causes inflammation and the infection of the tissues and bone that surround and support your teeth, and this is known as gum disease. If left untreated, the infection will eventually destroy your tissues and bone, leading to tooth and bone loss.
The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and this is where being proactive can help you effectively manage, and sometimes even reverse your condition. When you have gingivitis, you may notice:
- Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth
- You have chronic bad breath that you can’t get rid of
- Your gums are red and swollen
These are the early indicators of gum disease, and by visiting your dentist, we can help you prevent further damage with a thorough professional cleaning and education about improved home care. This can save you from more costly and invasive treatment.
This is the advanced stage of gum disease where the damage starts to occur. This stage requires a deeper cleaning that reaches below the gum line in order to remove heavy tartar and plaque build up. Depending on how severe your condition is periodontitis may also require antibiotic therapy, tissue grafting, or surgery to effectively manage it.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for gum disease, however at New Smile Dental, Dr. Lopez and his team are well equipped to help you manage any stage of gum disease you may be dealing with. We believe that prevention is the key to optimum oral health. For this reason we want to help you prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place by encouraging you to attend your regular cleaning and checkups so we can screen you for gum disease and catch it in its earliest stages.
Contact our office today to learn more and schedule your next appointment. Your oral health is too important to risk!