Everyone is susceptible to gum disease, simply because bacteria naturally thrive in your mouth. The early stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is easily treated, but without proper care, it can progress to serious disease and tooth loss. Dr. Leslie McDougall and Dr. Ira Levenson of Morrow County Dental encourage you to come in for regular dental checkups to prevent gum disease, but if you need treatment, they have plenty of experience performing successful and pain-free procedures. To schedule a checkup, call their office in Mount Gilead, Ohio, to book an appointment.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, begins with an infection called gingivitis, which is inflamed gums. If the infection worsens, gingivitis progresses to become periodontitis, an advanced and serious form of gum disease that can destroy your gums, erode bones, and lead to tooth loss.
Bacteria that normally live in your mouth can form a colorless film or plaque that lets them stick to your teeth. Over time, the plaque hardens, forming a substance called tartar or calculus. Bacteria in the tartar can infect your gums, causing the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis.
The first sign of gum disease is usually bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. You may also experience:
Several treatments effectively treat gum disease. Depending on the severity of your disease you may need:
Scaling removes tartar from tooth surfaces, while planing eliminates rough spots on the tooth where germs tend to stick. Your dental hygienist routinely performs scaling and root planing during a deep cleaning, but in more severe cases, they may be done by your dentist using a local anesthetic.
Your dentist may apply medications after scaling and planing, prescribe oral medications, or recommend a prescription mouth rinse. Medications are used to control bacteria or stop enzymes from breaking down gum tissue.
Flap surgery allows your dentist to clean deep under your gums then restore loose or receding gums so they fit snugly around your teeth. Bone or tissue grafts may be performed to restore tissues that have been eroded by a bacterial infection.
You can prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily. Getting a regular dental checkup every six months is also an important preventive tool, because a deep cleaning removes plaque or tartar that your brush may not reach.
The team at Morrow County Dental can also recommend an at-home treatment plan, especially after treatment for gum disease. Special toothpastes, oral rinses, and prescription treatment trays can help prevent future occurrences of gum disease.