Because gum disease is not always painful you may not even know that you have it. And unless you are experiencing some of more serious symptoms, you may be tempted to put off seeing the dentist if you notice it. But gum disease is a serious dental health issue, and if it is left unchecked, it can result in lost teeth, and lost mass in your jawbone. It can impact other aspects of your health, including an increased risk of stroke and heart disease; and complications related to diabetes.
There can be several causes of gum disease, however the most common cause is the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Your body reacts to the presence of plaque with swelling gums, which allows even more plaque and tartar to accumulate below the gumline.
The symptoms of gum disease include swollen and tender gums. Your gums may bleed when you brush and floss, and you might experience loose teeth, or persistent bad breath. You may notice your gums pulling away from your teeth, and your gums may become red. Healthy gums are pink in color.
The best way to combat gum disease is to brush twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, and to floss at least once a day. When you visit your dentist she will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth, and check for gum disease. You may require medication for your gum disease, or in more severe cases, surgery may be required. However, it may just be a matter of improving your oral hygiene routine.
Your dentist may be able to treat your gums through two processes known as scaling and root planing. Normally, these procedures are done in two visits, and may require a local anesthetic. When the dentist scales your teeth, she will use an instrument to remove the plaque from your teeth, above and below the gumline. In root planing, the dentist will clean and smooth the roots of your teeth so that they can re-attach themselves to your jaw.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, our dentist, Dr. Wendy Quiroz will be happy to treat you. If you live in the Clovis, California area, call 559-299-9211 today for an appointment.