There are millions and millions of bacteria that call your mouth home on a daily basis. While many of them are very helpful, others are actively harmful and should be removed as soon as possible – that’s why routine brushing and flossing at home is so important. Ideally, we want to prevent the buildup of plaque, which is a sticky, colorless biofilm that is constantly being produced on the oral surfaces. If plaque is left in place too long, it can calcify into tartar and eventually lead to the development of gum disease. At Greybull Dental, our dentists work hard to help patients avoid this dangerous infection in the first place. Dedicated therapy options are also available to treat the presence of gum disease and prevent further deterioration.
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Patients are likely to not even notice their symptoms at this early level, which is just one more reason why it’s so important to schedule routine checkups and cleanings with our Greybull team. If you notice any oral bleeding after flossing or your gum tissue appears swollen and red, please don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a screening.
Once gum disease has progressed to an advanced stage, it is known as periodontitis. At this level, patients will start to experience gum recession, excessive bad breath, and deep periodontal pockets around the teeth. Pus can even begin to form, and teeth may start to feel loose, eventually leading to the need for extraction.
In addition to the various dental problems that gum disease can cause, this common infection has even been linked through research to several disorders that affect oral health, including hypertension, strokes, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory illnesses, and even low birth weights in infants. This is because bleeding gum tissue can facilitate the transfer of dangerous bacteria to other areas throughout the human body.
To stop gum disease as soon as possible and prevent further damage, Dr. Lance Anderson and Dr. Tate Anderson will recommend scaling and root planing. This dedicated cleaning will involve the thorough removal of plaque and tartar from both above and below the patient’s natural gum line. Once this process is complete, the root surfaces will be gradually smoothed as well to remove rough surfaces and make it harder for plaque and tartar to stick in place. As a supplement, antibiotics can also be provided to further fight the infection.
Gum recession is a very likely consequence of untreated gum tissue. Not only does this condition affect your smile’s overall health and make it more likely that teeth will become decayed and even lost over time, but it can also significantly harm your appearance. That’s why our dentists may recommend connective tissue grafting as a solution. During this procedure, we will transfer healthy tissue structure from other areas of the mouth to build up the recessed areas once more. The final result is a revitalized and more self-confident smile.