Because periodontal disease is estimated to impact 75% of Americans, Vayner Family Dentistry answers some of the most frequently asked questions about gum disease and the importance of its prompt treatment below.
What causes gum disease? Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is primarily caused by a bacteria resulting from an untreated buildup of plaque and tartar, but other issues such as tobacco use, grinding of teeth, genetics, and certain medications also contribute to the condition.
What are the types of gum disease? There are two stages of gum disease. The first stage, gingivitis, often goes undetected unless diagnosed through gum treatment in Fairfield, CT. Gum disease is reversible if caught early and treated. The second stage, periodontitis, is untreated gingivitis that has been allowed to advance. Periodontitis has many levels of severity but all impact breakdown of the bone and tissue of the mouth and can result in tooth and bone loss.
Are there early warning signs that I should be aware of? Yes, there are several signs that individuals should be aware of. Concerning gum disease and gum treatment. These include bleeding or swollen gums, chronic bad breath, loosening of teeth, and tooth sensitivity. Our team here at Vayner Family Dentistry recommends that if these signs are present, it is important to make an appointment since they can lead to (or are indicators of) other more serious concerns such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or preterm birth in the case of pregnant women.
How is gum disease treated? Once diagnosed, treatments include the removal of plaque, possible use of a prescription level mouth rinses, or even surgery to stop or minimize the progress of periodontal disease. Surgery is also performed for gum treatment near Fairfield to replace bone which may have been lost during advanced stages of the condition.
What can I do to prevent gum disease? Vayner Family Dentistry encourages patients to follow proper brushing and flossing routines since that is the easiest way to reduce or prevent gum disease. Additionally, by adhering to regular cleanings to remove calculus buildup, periodontal disease (which is often silent in its onset) can be treated in its earliest and most reversible stages.
Is there a risk between periodontal disease and heart disease? Recent studies have indicated a link between gum disease and heart disease. If you’ve been told that you are at risk for heart disease, it is important that you mention this to your dentist since periodontal disease may increase this risk.
Is gum disease hereditary? Research has recently indicated that genetics may play a role in a person’s overall risk for periodontal disease. There is an online risk assessment tool provided by the American Academy of Periodontology that can help determine your risk level concerning gum disease. This test is not meant to replace a visit to your dentist, but it can serve as a helpful tool to assess risk due to genetics or other factors.
If you still have questions or want to schedule an exam to learn more about what you can do to protect your gums and your smile, please make an appointment today.