It’s February again, that magical time of year when we think about love, chocolates, and… gum disease? That’s right, February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month! So take a quick break from making dinner plans and buying flowers to look at your gums. Are they a lovely pick color, or are they bright red? If you have inflamed, sensitive, or easily bleeding gums in Medford, you may have the earliest stages of this common health condition! Here’s everything you need to know about the effects, symptoms, and treatment of gum disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
If you don’t regularly remove the plaque and bacteria from your mouth, you may develop a bacterial infection in your gums known as periodontal (gum) disease. In its earliest stages, the symptoms can be controlled and reversed. However, as the infection worsens, it will begin to cause permanent damage. Researchers believe that the harmful bacteria and inflammation can spread throughout the body to cause serious systemic conditions. Although more research is needed, gum disease appears to be capable of increasing a person’s risk of heart disease by 20%.
What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
Gum disease can generally be broken down into two stages. The symptoms of gingivitis, the first stage, are reversible but easily overlooked. They include:
- Swollen, discolored, or bright red gum tissue.
- Gums that easily bleed when brushing, flossing, or eating.
If it evolves into periodontitis, the infection has begun to attack the jawbone and cause permanent damage. Some symptoms of this stage include:
- Chronic bad breath.
- Receding gums or sensitive teeth.
- Shifting, loose, or painful teeth.
- Tooth loss and changes in facial structure.
What is Periodontal Therapy?
The most common gum disease treatment in Medford is scaling and root planning. For this method, your dentist will deep clean your mouth and use specialized tools to clear out any plaque and bacteria both above and below your gumline. Once the infection is removed, the roots of your teeth will be smoothed out to encourage gum reattachment as well as making it more difficult for bacteria to accumulate there again.
However, in severe cases of gum disease, scaling and root planning may not be an adequate treatment. In these cases, your dentist may suggest antibiotics or surgery to fully eliminate the harmful bacteria. Thankfully, preventing gum disease in the first place is as easy as getting a dental checkup. By visiting your dentist in Medford every six months, they can help you spot and stop the earliest signs of gum disease and keep your smile happy and healthy!
About the Practice
At Premier Care Dental in Medford, OR, we want to help you stop gum disease before it even begins with effective, comfortable regular cleanings. However, if an infection does develop, one of our skilled dentists can step in with more intensive treatment. Our team of four highly skilled dentists provides thorough prevention and effective periodontal therapy to protect your beautiful smile. If you’re concerned about gum disease, feel free to contact them at their website or at (541) 200-6747.