Dr. Schechter's Dental Discussion
Posts for tag: Gum Disease
Your gums have started bleeding when you brush your teeth. Should you worry? Bleeding gums often indicate an early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. It can develop into destructive periodontitis, a major cause of tooth loss in the US. Your family dentist in Milford, CT, Dr. Bruce Schechter, offers treatment options for gum disease so you and your mouth enjoy long-lasting health.
Symptoms of gum disease
Some symptoms of this common malady are obvious, and some are more hidden and require the expert eye of your family dentist in Milford. That's why Dr. Schechter emphasizes six-month cleanings and check-ups to:
- Remove toxic plaque and hard tartar which contain the causative agent of gum disease, strep bacteria
- Spot the signs of gum disease early while it is easier to treat
- Formulate a care plan as necessary
- Bad breath
- Red, puffy gums
- Tenderness to the touch
- Gum recession
- Exposed tooth roots
- Mobile teeth
- Deep gum pockets
How does it develop?
Gum disease frequently happens because people neglect daily brushing and flossing and don't see their dentist every six months (or as recommended) for cleanings and examinations. Tartar accumulates, leading to infection and recession.
Other contributing factors are:
- Age (70 percent of people over 65 have some form of periodontitis, says the American Academy of Periodontology)
- Smoking (the heat from cigarettes actually burns gum tissue)
- Poor overall health and nutrition
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Certain prescription medications
- Heredity (some families seem more prone than others)
Sometimes treating gum disease is as simple as a thorough cleaning at Dr. Schechter's office. This routine scaling, to remove plaque and tartar, combined with disciplined oral hygiene habits at home, allow gums to heal quickly.
However, if gum disease progresses, more advanced techniques become necessary. They can include:
- Deep cleaning and root planing, using hand scalers and ultrasonic tools to remove hard deposits below the gum line
- Installation of antibiotics to heal infection
- Gum grafting, using donor tissue or the patient's own gums, to cover exposed roots
Find out more
If you are concerned about your gum health, don't hesitate to call Dr. Schechter's office in Milford, CT, for a consultation right away. Healthy teeth and gums both ensure a great smile. Phone (203) 878-1787.
Gum (periodontal) disease is a chronic infection of the tissues that support your teeth caused by the buildup of plaque- the sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. In the early stages, bacteria-rich plaque builds up, irritating the gums. As the disease progresses, the plaque turns into hard tartar that brushing can't remove, and this can cause the tissues to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can trap infection. Without treatment, gum disease will ultimately lead to permanent tooth loss.
The severity of gum disease can range from simple gum inflammation to serious infections that result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. But gum disease can impact more than your smile. In fact, the same bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease can impact other important systems in your body as well. Recent studies have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as those without gum disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Some patients won't show obvious signs of gum disease. That's why it's important to visit Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S. for regular checkups and cleanings. Visit our Milford dental office as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Tender, red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Loosening or separating of permanent teeth
- Change in your bite
- Pus between the gums and teeth
- Persistent bad breath
Gum Disease Prevention: Start with the Basics
The good news is that being diligent about your dental health can prevent plaque from forming and even reverse early stages of gum disease.
- Visit Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S. for routine cleanings and checkups. We can remove tartar build up and check for changes in your mouth.
- Brush at least twice a day- morning and before bed- to remove bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Floss daily to reach areas in between your teeth and along the gumline where harmful plaque accumulates.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients and low in sugary foods and drinks.
Gum disease is a serious oral infection that affects millions of Americans. And while there are several treatments a dentist can perform to treat the problem, it's best to avoid gum disease in the first place by brushing, flossing and visiting Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S. for regular exams and cleanings. Start taking care of your gums now to prevent tooth loss and other serious health problems in the future.