What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an infection that leads to inflammation in the tissues that surround your teeth and hold them in place. It’s typically caused when plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—builds up on the teeth and hardens into tartar. According to the CDC, nearly 50% of adults over 30 and 70% of adults over 65 have some form of gum disease.
Warning signs and symptoms:
Consistent dental wellness visits and effective oral hygiene can reduce the risk of gum disease. Brush your teeth and gums (preferably with an electric toothbrush) for two minutes twice a day, and floss or use a water pick daily to remove plaque from between your teeth. Schedule a routine wellness visit every six months so our team can help with the plaque and tarter you can’t remove at home. You may need to visit us more frequently if you have risk factors for gum disease – like dry mouth, taking certain medications, being pregnant, or smoking.
It is essential to control the infection once gum disease has developed. Treatment options will depend on the extent of gum disease. A deep cleaning is usually the first step, followed by gum care visits every three to four months. It is possible to treat more severe forms of periodontal disease successfully, although more extensive treatment may be required. Such treatment might include medications or corrective surgery with Dr. Gardner, our periodontist.
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