PERIODONTAL CARE IS KEY TO GREAT OVERALL HEALTH
When we think about our smiles, our teeth often come to mind first. Although our teeth are undoubtedly important for oral function, our gums serve an essential purpose as well. Our jaw bone and gums are the foundations of our smiles; they stabilize our teeth and allow us to chew, speak, and smile with confidence. When your gum health is threatened, it is important to receive timely treatment to avoid complex and costly procedures in the future. We provide a full spectrum of periodontal care at Advanced Dentistry in Sugar Land, Texas. If you are concerned about your gum health or are simply due for a professional cleaning, we encourage you to contact us today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Varghese John.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GUM HEALTH
Together, the periodontal tissues are referred to as periodontium. This includes the connective ligaments that hold your teeth in place as well as the pink, delicate gum tissue. Just like a tooth can develop a cavity from plaque buildup, your gums can become diseased and begin to break down.
There are several ways poor gum health can affect your smile. When your gums become infected, they pull away from your teeth and can eventually lead to tooth loss, nerve damage, bone degeneration, and more. These soft tissues can also pose a threat to your overall health if they develop lesions that signal oral cancer. It is crucial to diagnose and treat signs of gum disease or cancer as quickly as possible since this can prevent the spread of infection and dangerous growths.
While poor gum health can cause complications for your overall oral health, the condition can also have a detrimental effect on your entire body. When your gums are plagued with bacteria and disease, these pathogens can travel to the rest of the body through our saliva. Gum disease can increase your risk of developing serious health complications, such as heart disease and stroke.
TYPES OF GUM DISEASE
When left untreated, gum disease progresses through three stages:
- Gingivitis – Gingivitis is characterized by inflamed, red gums. It occurs when plaque builds up along the gum line. Patients may notice some sensitivity and bleeding gums when they brush or floss.
- Periodontitis – Periodontitis occurs when the bone and gum tissues surrounding your teeth become damaged. In this stage of gum disease, pockets of bacteria collect below the gum line. This causes the gums to pull away from your teeth, which can eventually lead to loosening.
- Advanced Periodontitis – Advanced periodontitis is a worsening of periodontitis. During this stage of gum disease, the pockets of bacteria between the gums and teeth have grown deep below the gum line. This bacteria causes a breakdown in the connective tissues that support your teeth, which can cause them to loosen and fall out.
TREATMENT AND PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE
Proper brushing and flossing are often sufficient to address early stage gum disease. Once it has progressed to a stage where bacteria is collecting below the gum line, scaling and root planing is a common treatment option. During the procedure, which is also known as a deep cleaning, Dr. John will carefully scrape plaque from the teeth below the gum line. This will eliminate the bacteria that has collected in any pockets. He may also smooth your tooth roots. In some cases, surgical treatment for gum disease may be necessary. If needed, Dr. John can suggest a skilled local periodontist to provide treatment.
Most periodontal conditions are highly preventable if you maintain good hygiene, which consists of brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Additionally, you should be sure to attend biannual dental visits to have your teeth professionally cleaned. During these appointments, Dr. John can catch early signs of plaque buildup and bacteria and help you avoid costly procedures in the future.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to get an opinion on your need for dental crowns or bridges.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of your dental health – we don’t charge for giving advice!