Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent oral health problems in the US. In fact, the National Institutes of Health maintain that half of American adults 30 and over have gum problems in one form or other. Your West Houston dentist, Dr. June Goodall, wants you to have healthy gums so you keep your teeth and experience better overall health.
Do you have periodontal disease?
Some people don't know if they do or not. That's because gum disease--mild gingivitis and more destructive periodontitis--sometimes has few to no obvious symptoms until the damage is done. Your West Houston dentist, however, can see the signs on routine oral examination.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease? They may include:
- Bad breath
- Pimples and sores on the gums
- Gum swelling and discoloration
- Loose teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Dentures or other prosthetics which no longer fit properly
- Changes in how teeth bite together
- Gum recession
- Exposure of tooth roots
- Gum pockets which measure more than three millimeters
Causes of gum disease
Gum disease is an infection caused by the overabundant bacteria living in sticky, soft plaque and solid tartar. As the biofilms grow on and between teeth, they invade the gum line, too, pushing the tissue away from its natural attachment to teeth. As the disease progresses, gum tissue literally dies, roots are exposed and bone deteriorates, leading to tooth loss.
While heredity and use of some prescription drugs contribute to periodontitis, poor oral hygiene, a sugary diet, inadequate hydration, alcohol, and tobacco drive the disease to its unfortunate conclusion.
Treating periodontal disease
Treatments vary depending on the extent of the damage. Some patients respond well to better oral hygiene at home and a thorough professional cleaning at Dr. Goodall's office.
Others need a deeper cleaning and root planing which usually includes antibiotic medications to speed healing. Still, other patients require replacement of gums with grafting procedures which utilize the individual's own tissues to cover exposed tooth roots. Rest assured that Dr. Goodall will recommend a treatment plan perfect for your situation.
Healthy gums=a healthy smile
Let Dr. June Goodall help you complete that equation with a check on your gum health. Call your dentist in West Houston, TX, today for your routine exam and hygienic cleaning at (713) 461-3200.