Valentine’s Day is the big holiday in February, but did you know it’s also Gum Disease Awareness month? Understanding gum disease is very important for your health. Here’s what you should know:
When you don’t brush or floss well, plaque full of bacteria builds up. It can cause inflammation on your gums, making them red and swollen. This is gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Many people get this at some point in their lives. If we catch it early, all you usually need to do is improve your oral hygiene habits. Gingivitis doesn’t cause long-term damage.
If you don’t treat gingivitis, the inflammation gets worse. This next stage – periodontitis – is serious. Pockets form between your gums and teeth, making your gums recede and your teeth appear longer. These pockets also give bacteria more room to build up, causing infections. Without treatment, infections can lead to bone and tooth loss.
Some people don’t experience many symptoms, especially in the early gingivitis stage. This can make it hard to know if there’s a problem developing. The only way to diagnose gum disease is to see a dentist like Dr. Akinwande regularly. While you can’t diagnose yourself, certain symptoms are common. These include tender gums, bleeding while flossing, loose teeth, and persistent bad breath. If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s time to see the dentist.
Gum disease is treatable in both stages. Gingivitis is easier to deal with. After a thorough professional cleaning, better oral hygiene usually fixes the issue. With periodontitis, you’ll at least need a deeper cleaning to clear up the bacteria buildup. At Chesterfield Dentistry, we use Arestin® Gum Treatment. This is a locally-applied antibiotic that deals with deep gum pockets.
This Gum Disease Awareness Month, come to our Chesterfield office! We can catch any early signs of gum disease and get you on track for better health. Contact us today to make an appointment.
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