Gum disease is something most people don't--or don't want to--think about. Yet, it threatens oral and systemic health. General dentists, Dr. Vladimir Dontsov and Dr. Anuj Patel, at Dentist 4 Uninsured in Lancaster, CA, urge their patients to know the signs of gum disease, its preventive measures and effective treatments. After all, no smile is complete without healthy gums.
What is gum disease?
Also called periodontitis or periodontal disease, this oral health condition is an infection of the gums, or gingiva, which support and surround your teeth. Causing gum and bone deterioration, tooth mobility and tooth loss, periodontal disease affects people of all ages and lifestyles. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control states that almost 50 percent of Americans have some form of the malady--from mild gingivitis to destructive periodontitis.
Caused by the build-up of bacteria-filled soft plaque and hard tartar, gum disease is often hidden or simply goes undetected by patients. General dentists, Dr. Dontsov and Dr. Patel, and their team recognize the signs and symptoms on oral examination at Dentist 4 Uninsured in Lancaster, CA. Plus, they offer effective treatments to avoid tooth loss and maintain good oral health.
Signs of periodontal disease
There are many. Gingivitis usually expresses as bleeding gums. In other words, you see some blood in the bathroom sink when you brush your teeth. Some mild sore spots and puffiness may accompany the bleeding.
As gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, you and your dentist will notice:
- Receding gums, or a "long tooth" appearance
- Gingival swelling
- Gums pulling away from the teeth
- Gum pockets measuring deeper than three millimeters (the hygienist measure pockets with a small metal probe)
- Lingering bad breath, or halitosis
- Pus at the gum line, indicating an abscess
- Changes in tooth position and bite
- Dental and gingival sensitivity
- Exposed roots
Treating gum disease
In its earliest stages, gum disease responds well to routine twice a day brushing and once a day flossing. Your dentist may advise special anti-plaque mouth rinses, too. For more advanced cases, you may undergo a deep cleaning (tooth scaling) and root planing to manually remove tartar and plaque from below the gum line. This procedure often includes the use of antibiotics and special ultrasonic scalers.
We all can improve on how well we care for our gums and teeth. When you come to Dentist 4 Uninsured for your six-month check-up and cleaning, ask your dentist and hygienist for your best way to keep your gums healthy. Call the office today to schedule your appointment: (661) 726-1010.