Gum disease is far more common than you probably think; over half of adults over 30 in the United States have some form of the condition. If it’s not treated, you could lose your teeth, and your overall health could suffer. Luckily, Dr. Kirby can use periodontal therapy to treat the disease and save your smile. If you believe your gums are infected (or if it’s been more than six months since they were examined at a preventive checkup), call us to schedule an appointment today.
Gum disease (often called “periodontal disease” by dentists) is when the tissues that hold your teeth in your mouth become infected. The cause is usually bacteria in your mouth that hasn’t been removed by brushing or flossing; other risk factors include smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes in women, dry mouth, and certain illnesses that weaken the immune system.
The earliest form of gum disease is gingivitis. If it isn’t treated, it eventually becomes periodontitis. At that point, you’ll be in danger of losing your teeth. Furthermore, patients with gum disease have been found to be at a higher risk for heart attacks, respiratory illnesses, and Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, if you don’t get treatment quickly, the long-term consequences could be very severe.
Unfortunately, gum disease is often silent. That means you might not even notice the symptoms until you’re in the more advanced stages that are much harder to treat. Dr. Kirby can examine your gums during your biannual dental checkups; that way, he’ll be able to find warning signs you might have missed and take the appropriate preventive actions.
That said, possible warning signs of gum disease include:
There are plenty of choices when it comes to safe, effective periodontal therapy. Depending on the situation, we might suggest: