We can’t say it often enough – if your goal is a healthy smile, you must stay current with semi-annual visits for exams and professional cleanings at our Wellington, OH dental office. Both services are designed to monitor your oral health and identify and address potential problems before they become painful and require complicated treatment.
One important goal of professional cleanings is to look for signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the gums and other structures that support your teeth. It usually occurs because of a lack of proper oral hygiene.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a prevalent health problem that affects nearly half of all Americans over the age of 30. In patients over the age of 65, the prevalence rate increases to 70%!
The most common signs of gum disease are tenderness, inflammation, and gums that bleed when you brush. These are signs that your immune system has been overwhelmed by the bacteria and toxins in your mouth and the gum tissue around your tooth has become inflamed.
Without treatment, these bacteria attach to the root surface of the tooth, opening up pockets between the tooth and gums. The infection will cause the bone that surrounds your teeth to deteriorate, leading to irreversible bone loss and, ultimately, tooth loss.
How Do You Treat Gum Disease?
If our hygienist finds gum disease during your exam, a thorough cleaning may be all you need to restore the health of your gums. Your hygienist will also recommend the application of a topical antibiotic to continue fighting the infection after your cleaning.
In the case of more advanced gum disease, we will recommend a deep cleaning. This procedure, called scaling and root planing, removes plaque and tartar that linger on teeth and smooths the root surfaces of the root where bacteria collect.
Our doctors may also recommend dental lasers to treat advanced periodontal disease. This state-of-the-art approach removes infected gum tissue, reduces periodontal bacteria, and stimulates healing of the gums. Laser treatment is less invasive than traditional deep cleaning methods, so you will experience fast healing times and a more comfortable recovery.
The Importance of Treating Gum Disease
While a gum infection can ultimately lead to tooth loss if not treated, your oral health isn’t the only concern here. There is significant research indicating that chronic gum infections are associated with numerous health problems like heart and lung disease, diabetes, oral cancers, arthritis, and pregnancy complications.
At Wellington Dental, our goal is to help you understand the effects that a condition like gum disease can have on your life. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease or you are overdue for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us for an appointment.