Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can threaten your oral health and lead to uncomfortable symptoms. Here, our Hamilton dentists offer advice on how to prevent periodontitis and improve gum health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – a sticky film bacteria that builds up on your teeth. If not regularly\ removed, this bacteria can have negative effects on the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
Though it may be painless at first and grow slowly, gum disease can have serious consequences. Not only could you lose your teeth, but because gum health is closely linked with many other aspects of your physical health, this infection can put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is why it is essential that we do not allow it to progress to the more serious stages.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include
Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is the more serious form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums recede and bacteria eventually fills pockets between gums and teeth. Light to moderate bone loss in the jaw can also happen. When periodontitis moves into the advanced stage, your gums, jawbone, and periodontal ligament begin to break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease has scary outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity, or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They’ll ask if you’ve noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, whether you’ve been following your regular oral care routine, and let you know if you have any oral health issues that require further treatment.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Downtown Dental of Hamilton, we offer restorative dental care to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease. Treatment begins with more frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings, and specialized home care routines. If your periodontitis has progressed to a more advanced stage, your dentists will discuss the treatment options available to you.
A common treatment option for advanced gum disease is a gum graft. This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession, and can help improve the appearance of your smile.