Gum disease can threaten your oral health and cause other problems. Our Parksville dentists explain how to prevent periodontitis and improve gum health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – bacteria that builds up on your teeth and creates toxins. These toxins affect the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
Gum disease, while initially painless and progressing slowly, can have serious consequences. Because gum health is interconnected with many other aspects of oral and physical health, this infection can put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is why we must prevent it from progressing to the more serious stages.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include:
Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is the most severe type of gum disease. Your gums will recede at this point, and bacteria will eventually fill the pockets between your gums and teeth. It is also possible to experience mild to moderate bone loss in the jaw.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease has scary outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They'll ask if you've noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, if you've been following your regular oral care routine, and if you can answer oral hygiene and care questions.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Arrowsmith Dental Group, we offer a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession and can help improve the appearance of your smile.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique uses no scalpels or sutures to treat gum recession. A dentist uses a needle to make a small hole in the patient's existing gum tissue, which they then gently loosen with special instruments. The gum line is adjusted gently to cover the exposed root structure.
Teeth & Gum Contouring
These cosmetic procedures can help to improve the overall appearance of your smile. Teeth contouring entails shaving away excess tooth material and reshaping chipped, uneven, or poorly aligned teeth with a dental drill, while excess gum tissue is removed to contour or lift gums.