According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of US adults over the age of 30 and 64% of US adults over age 65 have gum disease severe enough to affect the bone that anchors the teeth in the mouth. Because gum disease is really a chronic infection, the overall health consequences of leaving gum disease untreated can be significant both for your teeth and your body overall.
At Shank Dentistry, we screen all our patients for gum disease so that the infection can be addressed in its earliest stages and our patients can continue to live happy, healthy lives with beautiful smiles.
Symptoms of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Even if you have had healthy gums your entire life, certain medications, fluctuations in hormone levels (such as occurs with pregnancy), and changes in your diet can all affect the health of your gums. Often, the first sign of gum disease is bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. The bleeding associated with gum disease is different than that from having something, like a popcorn hull, stuck in your gums because it persists and is often accompanied by swelling, pain, and redness.
As gum disease progresses, it may cause foul breath, tooth mobility, gum recession, and bone loss. Noticing any change to your gum tissue, either in color or inflammation, is a warning sign you should not ignore. Many times however, these signs and symptoms do not appear until the disease process is well underway and many times already advanced to a severe state. Regular dental visits that involve a periodontal screening are the best way to avoid the problems that come with advanced gum/periodontal disease such as loss of bone support in the jaws and tooth loss
Systemic Health and Periodontal Disease
You may have heard news stories about the links between periodontal disease and heart health. Researchers have also discovered links between gum disease and diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic respiratory illnesses, and premature births.
Many researchers believe it is the inflammatory nature of a chronic infection, such as gum disease, that exacerbates or even creates other systemic issues.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Because we assess each patient who comes to our Perry Township dental office, we can customize a treatment plan that will specifically address your needs. When we are able to diagnose gum disease early, we can tackle it quickly and help you get back on track with improved home care, proper professional dental cleanings, and products to help you keep the condition under control.
As gum disease worsens, we may recommend a series of cleanings designed to remove the bacteria and infection from above and below your gumline. Our hygienists are extremely gentle and skilled at providing this type of treatment comfortably for our patients.
Improving your home care makes it possible to keep periodontal disease under control. Brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and using any special rinses your dentist or hygienist recommends will assist your body in the healing process.
Ongoing Benefits of Periodontal Care
When you seek periodontal treatment, you may prolong the life of your teeth, improve the comfort of your gums, and protect your overall systemic health. Even if it has been awhile since you have been to the dentist for an exam or professional dental cleaning, our dedicated and experienced team can help you approach your care with a happy, healthy smile in mind.
Contact Shank Dentistry to Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Kyle Shank, along with our hygiene team, looks forward to welcoming you to our dental office and helping you achieve excellent oral health. Give our Perry Township, IN dental office a call today to schedule your periodontal consultation.