With proper dental care, early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis, is a treatable reversible condition. Unfortunately, some common myths prevent people from seeking proper treatment. It’s important to recognize these myths so that you can get proper care and keep your gums in great shape and your smile shining bright.
How common is gum disease?
The first myth many people believe is that gum disease is uncommon. This simply isn’t true. Nearly half of the adult population in this country, and possibly more, suffers from at least the beginning stages of gum disease. It develops when gum tissue becomes inflamed and infected due to plaque and bacteria buildup and the presence of certain bacteria. Often the first sign is bleeding gums. Proper dental hygiene, including brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily can help prevent or slow progression of the disease, but other factors such as smoking, poor diet (especially one low in Vitamin C) can also contribute to gum disease. It is also important to get regular dental cleanings, the ADA recommends twice a year so that special instruments can be used to regularly remove a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth to reduce the opportunity for gingivitis to develop into full-blown periodontal disease, which requires a lot more care to keep under control.
People often mistakenly think that no cavities mean no gum disease. Cavities often cause pain and discomfort, so they are more easily noticeable. Gum disease, on the other hand, is painless. Which means it can be easily missed. There are actually different types of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities, also known as caries. If you notice red, swollen, or bleeding gums, it is important to visit with a dental professional to be evaluated for gum disease to make sure you receive the correct treatment appropriate for whatever stage of the disease you are in.
Can periodontal disease be treated?
A second myth is that once periodontal disease has been diagnosed nothing can be done to treat it. Which, fortunately, is false! While it is true that some hard tissue damage has already begun, with regular care and professional dental cleanings and specialized treatment by a periodontist, more severe damage can be avoided. It will require regular maintenance and working with your periodontist to continually keep hard tissue damage and the disease process at bay. At this point, it is critically important to maintain regular dental hygiene and periodontal maintenance schedule with a periodontist to prevent further loss of bone and tooth attachments.
Contact Attar Smiles
If you have concerns about bleeding in your gums, loose teeth, shifting teeth, or bad breath we urge you to make a dental appointment as soon as possible so you can start planning for better dental health for your own comfort and well-being. Please feel free to contact us here at Attar Dental in Libertyville, we’ll be happy to see you!