Gum disease can be pretty sneaky. The most obvious early signs are seeing blood when you you brush or floss, but sometimes gum disease can get a foothold without making itself known. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and deteriorating general health. Fortunately, Dr. Kerbel of Gregory Allen Kerbel, DDS in Garland, TX provides gentle and effective gum disease treatment.
How Gum Disease Happens
Everyone has entire colonies of bacteria in their mouths. This is natural and normal, but there are some kinds of bacteria that can cause problems. Certain bacteria combine with saliva to produce a thin, sticky film called plaque. Plaque is soft and easily removed by brushing and flossing. However, plaque begins to form within 24 hours after being removed. That’s why good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings and examinations are so important.
Plaque forms on the gum line around the teeth. The bacteria in plaque eat the sugars in our foods and beverages, and secrete acids that begin to irritate the gums and erode the enamel that covers your teeth. The gums can change color from pink to red or even purple; become puffy and tender; and may bleed when you brush or floss.
This is the first stage of gum disease which is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can be effectively treated by a professional dental cleaning to remove every trace of plaque and allow the gums to heal. But if plaque is left undisturbed long enough, things get worse.
Tartar, or dental calculus, is what plaque turns into given enough time. Tartar is harder than your tooth enamel; you can’t possibly remove it by brushing and flossing. Tartar can extend below the gum line and attack the ligament that helps stabilize your tooth and the tooth root itself. Pockets of infection can form. The gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the structures beneath the gum line to infectious bacteria. You may have bad breath that nothing seems to help.
In this stage, known as periodontitis, both your teeth and your general health are at risk. A wide body of research is demonstrating that chronic dental infections can contribute to potentially severe health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Lung problems
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
- Poor diabetes management
- Various types of cancers
And many others.
Get Effective Gum Disease Treatment From Dr. Kerbel
Our dental practice offers treatment for both stages of gum disease. For periodontitis, the more serious stage, we can use our state-of-the-art PerioLase dental laser to remove infected gum tissue. The laser is far more comfortable and results in less bleeding than traditional gum disease treatments.
We’ll remove all traces of tartar above and below the gum line through processes known as dental scaling and planing. Once treatment is complete, you can help keep gum disease from returning by using our PerioProtect trays that hold a medicine against your teeth and gums.
Gum disease really is something to take seriously. If you suspect you might have gum disease, take action now! Schedule a dental cleaning and examination with Gregory Allen Kerbel DDS in Garland, TX by calling 972-360-9944.