Is there ever a good time to have a talk about gum disease? Well, yes, that time is now, because February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. Research shows that more than 80 percent of the adult population in the United States has some degree of gum disease, so awareness and discussion are always timely. Of course, if you currently have gum disease, then now is the time for gum disease therapy in Sioux Falls. Read on to learn more about this condition and the treatment available.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the soft tissue and bone structure that support your teeth. As the disease advances from gingivitis to periodontitis—the early and late stages of the disease, respectively—symptoms go from swollen gum tissue that may occasionally bleed to teeth that begin to loosen as bone tissue deteriorates. Ultimately, teeth may need to be extracted in order to stop the advance of the disease. In fact, periodontal disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in America.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Initially, you may not notice anything different about your gums. Bacteria work undetected, which is why regular checkups are so important. The depth of small pockets between your teeth and gums are measured. Anything deeper than four millimeters could be a sign of gum disease.
Other signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when you floss
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums that make your teeth look longer
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain when you bite down
- Teeth that are beginning to loosen
The Oral-Systemic Connection
Beyond your mouth, the same bacteria that lead to gum disease may also cause illness throughout the body. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and preterm births may all have a connection to the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Periodontal Therapy in Sioux Falls
Caught early enough at one of your six-month dental checkups, gum disease is usually treatable with more stringent brushing and flossing at home. For a moderate case, periodontal therapy in Sioux Falls will be necessary. Root planing and scaling eradicates bacteria from above and below the gum line, so the tissue can heal. There is also soft tissue laser therapy for advanced gum disease.
If you see that your gums are inflamed or that they bleed when your floss, then it’s time to see a dentist. Take gum health seriously this month, and call to schedule an appointment.
ABOUT THE PRACTICE
At Family Dentistry of Sioux Falls, we have a team of 5 dentists who take pride in providing quality dental care. Periodontal therapy is offered to help patients treat and reverse the adverse effects of gum disease. For any questions, the dentists can be reached through their website or by phone at (605) 496-0011.