Nearly half of adults in the United States have gum disease, but many of them don’t even realize it. If you don’t get gum disease treatment in Falmouth when you need it, you could be putting your smile – and your health – at risk. Since September is National Gum Care Month, take the time to learn about the importance of checking for – and treating – gum disease.
What Happens if Gum Disease Goes Undiagnosed?
Gum disease might not seem too serious at first. In fact, the earliest stage of the condition, gingivitis, can often be reversed just by improving your oral hygiene. However, if gum disease isn’t caught in time, it could eventually lead to some major health problems. The bacteria in your gums could attack your jawbone and the roots of your teeth; in many cases, this ultimately leads to tooth loss. Also, patients with gum disease are at a higher risk of also suffering from a heart attack, a respiratory infection, Alzheimer’s and other conditions. The further the condition is allowed to advance, the worse the long-term effects are.
How Can You Know if You Have Gum Disease?
You’ll want gum disease to be treated quickly, but in many cases, you might not even notice any symptoms until the later, more dangerous stages. The best way to catch gum disease early is to visit your dentist every six months; they’ll check for swollen, tender or bleed gums in Falmouth that might indicate a problem. They can also use the OralDNA Labs® test to detect infections as precisely as possible. If you notice loose teeth, receding gums, persistent bad breath, and/or pus between your teeth and gums, you might be at the point where you need emergency periodontal treatment.
How Can Gum Disease Be Treated?
Your dentist in Falmouth has a few different options when it comes to treating gum disease:
- Diode Laser: By using a dental laser, your dentist can remove diseased gum tissues and reshape your gums. This method is far more precise and comfortable than surgery done by metal tools; there’s little if any discomfort, and your mouth will heal much faster afterwards. The laser will also help sterilize the gums to make it less likely the infection will return.
- Scaling and Root Planing: This is a deep cleaning procedure that gets rid of harmful plaque and tartar underneath the gum line (scaling) before smoothing the surface of the tooth roots so that they can reattach to the gums (root planing).
- Antibiotics: Some patients might need an antibiotic prescription to control bacteria levels in their mouths.
Keeping your gums healthy means being proactive. Talk to your dentist about ways to protect yourself from gum disease – as well as what kind of treatments might help you keep your smile safe.
About the Author
Dr. Rob McVety enjoys the daily opportunity to help his patients improve their smiles and their lives. After graduation, he attended a General Practice Residency where he received advanced training in many different fields, including advanced gum disease treatment. If you’d like to schedule a checkup or a periodontal treatment at his practice, Casco Bay Smiles, visit his website or call (207) 517-7008.