Gum Disease, Tooth Loss, Gum Treatments
Periodontal (Gum) Disease Facts
Periodontal Gum Disease Can Affect Your Health
Recent research has show that gum disease can kill more than just your smile. Periodontal Disease has now been linked to heart disease and stroke. Research has shown that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease; therefore keeping your gums healthy can reduce your risk for a heart attack. Also, women with gum disease are seven to eight times more likely to give birth prematurely to low birth weight babies. Researchers believe that gum disease causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals which are linked to pre-term birth. Lastly, because periodontal disease gets into the blood stream, it has been linked with uncontrolled diabetes, pneumonia, respiratory diseases, and new studies are investigating the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even kidney disease*. Clearly gum disease can affect more than just your smile.
What is Periodontal or Gum Disease?
Three out of four people are affected by gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues and this disease is responsible for causing about 70 percent of adult tooth loss. Although periodontal disease is rampant, the good news is that gum disease is also treatable and most importantly preventable. Healthy gums are essential in keeping ones teeth.
What Factors Can I Control To Keep From Getting Periodontal Disease?
Several factors play a role in the development of periodontal disease: plaque build-up, heredity, and lifestyle choices. By far the most common and controllable factor, however, is the presence of bacterial plaque-a sticky, colorless film produced by normal oral bacteria. If not removed by daily brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings by your dentist, then these bacteria form hardened plaque called calculus (tartar) which release toxins in the mouth, leading to infection, bleeding, and ultimately loose teeth. As this process continues, the tooth, tooth root, and jawbone may all be effectively destroyed by the effects of periodontal disease.
In addition to the problems caused by poor oral health habits, poor lifestyle choices can affect the body’s ability to fight infection or increase irritation in the gum tissue area. Poor nutrition and poorly managed stress reduce the body’s natural ability to ward off periodontal disease, as do leukemia, AIDS, and diabetes. Smoking and chewing tobacco irritate the gum tissue. And finally, some people are simply born with a diminished resistance to gum disease. It is vital to have regular periodontal exams and cleanings and Dallas Dentist, Dr. Greg Kerbel,by your dentist.
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Sadly, for most people they do not realize they have gum disease until it has become a major issue often leading to tooth loss. Signs of periodontal disease include red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from teeth, loose or separating teeth, puss (infection) between the gum and tooth, persistent bad breath, change in the bite, and/or a change in the fit of partial dentures. However, since patients often feel little or no discomfort until the disease has spread considerably, frequent dental exams are extremely important to detect gum disease.
Dr. Kerbel will examine you and in the event of confirmed gum disease, treatment may include simple scaling and root planning using ultrasonic and manual instrumentation to remove calculus and plaque from around the tooth and root surfaces. This non-surgical treatment is combined with the use of antibiotics or antimicrobials, and an improved commitment to proper daily oral hygiene. In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be required, but surgical intervention can be avoided with early detection. The goal of non-surgical treatment is to reattach the gums to the tooth and bones preventing food and harmful bacteria from invading the deeper boney supporting structures.
Following such treatment, consistent, proper oral hygiene is critical in order to sustain the results. Research has shown that patients that have been treated for periodontal disease should have a professional dental visit at least every 3 months for periodontal maintenance to prevent this disease from causing further destruction of the bone, leading to subsequent tooth loss. In addition, oral hygiene should consist of twice-daily brushing with a soft nylon-bristled brush, daily flossing, and thorough tongue brushing.
Again, the best way to prevent gum disease and maintain your oral health is through consistent visits for teeth cleaning and exams. Dr. Gregory Allen Kerbel, D.D.S. will do a complete periodontal (gum) evaluation at each of your continuing care appointments (teeth cleanings and exams). After you have been examined, Dr. Kerbel will prescribe a specific oral hygiene program to handle your specific requirements.
Dr. Kerbel can help you and your family keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Call our Dallas Area Dental office at (972) 278-9901 for more information.
Our address is:
Gregory Allen Kerbel, D.D.S.- Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
3260 Southern Drive, Suite A
Garland, Texas 75043