Over 85% of the population in the United States has some form of gum disease, and what’s worse is that 60% of those people are left undiagnosed, which means their gums are left untreated and left to collect bacteria. This condition has also been connected to health issues like heart disease and bacterial pneumonia. Almost all cases of this condition can be prevented by practicing routine dental hygiene. Fortunately, gum disease treatment in Oklahoma City can allow you to get your oral health back on track.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the most common health problem in the United States, affecting people of all ages. It is caused by a buildup of bacteria and plaque beneath the gum line, which breaks down the bone and soft tissue that supports your teeth. The two major stages of this condition are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of the condition that typically results in bad breath, but periodontitis can lead to more serious problems like tooth loss and health issues like heart disease, respiratory infections and bacterial pneumonia.
Leading Causes of Gum Disease
The most common cause of gum disease is poor oral health. Other causes include poor nutrition and smoking. When plaque and bacteria aren’t regularly scraped or brushed away, it builds up and infects your gums.
Establishing a healthy oral hygiene routine comprised of brushing twice a day and flossing can stop bacteria in its tracks. Additionally, scheduling regular routine cleanings with your dentist is key to prevent gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
While there are other repercussions of gum disease, it is also common that you don’t notice any symptoms, which is why 60% of people affected are undiagnosed.
The most common signs include:
- Painful chewing
- Sensitive teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Discharge of pus from your gums
If Diagnosed, What are Treatment Options My Dentist can Offer?
In early stages of gum disease, soft tissue laser disinfection and scaling and root planing are common treatment options your dentist can provide you.
Soft tissue laser disinfection is when your dentist uses a laser to kill bacteria in the pockets by your teeth. The laser cauterizes and disinfects your affected gum tissue leaving little to no bleeding or damage to the surrounding areas of your gums. It’s not painful and is effective, which can prevent other serious illnesses such as heart disease.
Scaling and root planing is when your dentist scrapes away plaque and tarter buildup above and below the gum line, focusing on target areas like the bottom of the bottom of the periodontal pockets. When this step is done, your dentist will slowly start smoothing the root surface of your tooth which is a key area of bacteria buildup. This is an incredibly common treatment option for gum disease.
Even after being diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist offers multiple treatment options to soothe your discomfort and better your oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Joe Isaacson is Oklahoma City’s premier cosmetic and family dentist. Over two decades, he’s rooted his practice in his long-lasting patient relationships, which explains why over 7000 patients have made their way through his doors. For questions, please visit his practice website or contact 405-463-0582.