September is Gum Health month. Many people don’t realize how important it is to care for your gums, not just your teeth. If your gums go left untreated, you are more likely to succumb to Gingivitis. So, maybe you are wondering if you might have Gingivitis. Have your gums become red, tender, or swollen? Do they bleed when you brush or floss? If so, you could have Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. This condition, if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, which erodes the supporting jawbone around the teeth.
At the practice of Dr. Nylander in Allen, TX, we offer treatment for Gingivitis as part of our dental care services. Here, we explore the various procedures that can keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 50% of adult Americans have a form of gum disease despite it being preventable. When the gingival tissue becomes infected by bacteria found in plaque and tartar accumulations near the gum line. It can be treated quickly, minimizing any long-term damage when detected early.
Unfortunately, the early warning signs are often ignored, allowing them to progress in severity. Over time, it destroys the gums and bone supporting your teeth, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of several health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetic complications.
Fortunately, Gingivitis is typically easy to treat, as long as it is diagnosed early. In fact, Gingivitis can completely reverse the condition with regular dental cleaning in most cases. Your hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and other irritants during this visit, eliminating bacteria from the gums. As a result, inflammation is reduced, and the gums return to their normal, healthy, pink appearance. In addition, your dental team can help you develop a personalized oral care regimen to use at home between visits.
If Gingivitis is left untreated, the bacteria above the gum line will seep into the gums and erode the underlying bone tissue. This condition is known as periodontitis. After accessing your oral health, we may recommend you undergo scaling and root planing. Also known as a deep cleaning, this initial treatment is the first step to controlling the infection. During the scaling portion of the process, tartar accumulations are removed from above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth. This discourages future build-up while also encouraging the gum tissue to reattach to your teeth.
In some cases, we may recommend additional treatments, like antibiotic therapy. Often, you will need periodontal maintenance appointments every 3-4 months to ensure your gums remain infection-free. If your gum disease is severe or aggressive, you may need to see a specialist.
If you are noticing the symptoms of Gingivitis, it is vital to have the condition evaluated as soon as possible. Doing so can halt the progression of gum disease and help you avoid costly, invasive treatments. To learn more, schedule an appointment today!