Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is more common than you might think. In fact, it’s been estimated that 65% of American adults have either mild, moderate or severe periodontal disease. Many people are aware of the need for cavity prevention, but don’t know much about gum health. In this blog, you’ll get answers to 5 frequently-asked-questions so you can understand this common condition. You’ll also find out how seeing a dentist in Lansdale and practicing a few good habits can go a long way towards minimizing the serious impact of this disease!
1. What Are the Consequences of Untreated Periodontal Disease?
This may surprise you, but periodontal disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss. Researchers have also found overwhelming evidence that it increases your risk for:
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
- Pregnancy complications
2. What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Some of the most common causes of periodontal disease are under your control, including poor oral hygiene, uncontrolled diabetes and heart disease, and smoking.
Other causes are out of your control such as age and heredity.
3. What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis and Periodontitis?
The symptoms of gingivitis include red, puffy, tender or bleeding gums.
The symptoms for more advanced periodontitis include the same symptoms, but more severe. In addition, people may notice loose teeth, chronic bad breath, and pus under the gumline.
4. How Can You Prevent Periodontal Disease?
The best ways to prevent or manage periodontal disease are to see a dentist in Lansdale for regular checkups and practice good oral hygiene at home. Here are some great hygiene tips you can start using today:
- Aim for better, not perfect – Especially when it comes to flossing, many people throw in the towel completely if they miss a day or two. But even flossing just 4-5 times a week (consistently) is much better than not at all!
- Use the right tools – An electric toothbrush is practically guaranteed to do a far better job keeping your teeth and gums clean. Also, some people do a lot better with floss picks, interdental brushes or an oral irrigator.
- Use a mouthwash – For gum-related problems, an antiseptic mouthwash is a great addition to good brushing and flossing. It’s a good way to kill bacteria in hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
5. How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Typically, a procedure called scaling and root planing is the first recommendation for periodontal disease.
Also called a “deep cleaning,” it thoroughly removes the plaque and tartar from under the gumline that can’t be removed in the course of a normal cleaning. It’s usually done in 2-4 visits and includes being numbed beforehand for comfort.
Also, a topical antibiotic can be placed under the gums where it will directly kill the bacteria that cause this disease. For more advanced cases, there are also surgical options that can effectively treat the gums.
With the answers to these 5 periodontal FAQs in Lansdale, you’ll have a better understanding of how important your gum health is – and how you can maintain it!
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Carsto has over 35 years of experience as a dentist in Lansdale and always strives to educate his patients on the importance of gum health. He focuses on prevention and early treatment to help prevent the tooth loss and general health problems that can result from unmanaged gum disease. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website or at (215) 368-2424.