What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – bacteria that builds up on your teeth and creates toxins. These toxins affect the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
While gum disease may initially be painless and progress slowly, it can have serious consequences. Not only could you lose teeth, but because gum health is interconnected with so many other aspects of oral and physical health, this infection could put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. This is why we mustn't allow it to progress further.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include:
Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a more severe form of gum disease. At this point, your gums have receded and bacteria have begun to fill the spaces between your gums and teeth. Additionally, mild to moderate bone loss in the jaw can occur.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease has scary outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They'll inquire as to whether you've noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, whether you've been adhering to your regular oral care routine, and whether you're able to answer questions about oral hygiene and care.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At South 40 Dental, we offer a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession and can help improve the appearance of your smile.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a non-scalpel, no-suture method of treating gum recession. A dentist uses a needle to create a small hole in the patient's existing gum tissue, through which they can gently loosen the gum tissue with special instruments. Gently adjust the gum line to conceal the exposed root structure.
Teeth & Gum Contouring
These cosmetic procedures can significantly improve the aesthetics of your smile. Teeth contouring entails shaving away excess tooth material and reshaping chipped, uneven, or misaligned teeth with a dental drill, while excess gum tissue is removed to contour or lift the gums.