Experts at the Mayo Clinic state that there are 30 million new cases of gum disease each year. Surprisingly, this chronic inflammation of gum tissue affects more than older adults. In fact, kids school age and up suffer from gum disease. Your dentist in Scarborough, Dr. Samantha Amaro, wants her patients informed on the signs of this serious oral health problem and how it can be treated and prevented.
Signs of Gum Disease
Some signs of gum disease are obvious to both the patient and to the dentist. Others remain hidden or unnoticed unless the individual receives regular oral examinations and cleanings at White Willow Dental.
Signs vary in degree, with milder ones exhibited as gingivitis and others exhibited as periodontitis, or advanced periodontitis. Untreated, gum disease leads to loss of gum tissue, bone deterioration and tooth mobility. Tooth loss often results. Also, researchers link the inflammatory process and the oral bacteria contained in plaque and tartar in between teeth and at the gum line with:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type-2 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pregnancy complications
The signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Pus at the gumline
- Bad breath
- Tooth mobility
- Gum recession, or a “long tooth appearance”
- Periodontal pockets measuring three mm or greater as measured by your dental hygienist
Dr. Amaro and her team offer comprehensive periodontal care and treatment of gum disease in their Scarborough office. The first line of defense is routine daily brushing and flossing at home. The next line of defense the six-month check-up and cleaning in which the dentist assesses tooth and gum health and where the dental hygienist hand scales scales teeth to remove plaque and tartar brushing and flossing miss.
If the dentist diagnoses gingivitis or periodontitis, she has effective treatments to restore gums to health and to support teeth and bone structure:
- Traditional scaling and root planing Sometimes called “deep cleaning,” this manual procedure scrapes away plaque and tartar from interdental spaces and below the gum line. Dr. Amaro may instill antibiotics to quell infection, reduce inflammation and help gums to reattach to smoothed tooth surfaces.
- LANAP laser periodontal therapy The dentist uses a small handheld laser to disinfect and debride gums with advanced periodontitis. Laser therapy is comfortable, involves little bleeding and seals the treated tissue without cutting or sutures. Recovery time is much quicker than traditional gum surgeries.
Preventing Gum Disease
Routine oral hygiene in the home and at White Willow Dental keeps gums healthy, particularly for people who are immunosuppressed or who have a hereditary tendency toward gum disease. Additionally, Dr. Amaro recommends staying well hydrated to stimulate production of beneficial saliva and to keep teeth and gums clean. She also says a low carbohydrate diet reduces everyone’s chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
Make Your Appointment
Contact White Willow Dental for your six-month appointment today. Your gum health is too important to ignore!