You may think strong teeth are all you need for a healthy smile, but your gums are equally important. The gingival tissue acts as a protective barrier for your roots and oral structures to help seal out harmful bacteria that can compromise the support your teeth need to stay in place. The biggest threat to the health of your gums is a preventable infection call periodontal (gum) disease. Not only can it affect your smile but your body as well. At Cochell Family Dentistry, we provide personalized gum disease therapy in our Salem, OR dental office.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 50% of adult Americans have a form of gum disease despite it being preventable. It occurs when the gingival tissue becomes infected by bacteria found in plaque and tartar accumulations near the gum line. It can be treated quickly, minimizing any long-term damage when detected early.
Unfortunately, the early warning signs are often ignored, allowing it to progress in severity. Over time, it destroys the gums and bone supporting your teeth, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of several health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetic complications.
The early signs of gum disease may not seem like an immediate concern, but if you ignore them, the bacteria will continue to wreak havoc on your smile. It is best to contact our dental office at the first sign of:
We can save your smile from the complications of gum disease using a customized treatment plan. After accessing your oral health, we may recommend you undergo scaling and root planing. Also known as a deep cleaning, this initial treatment is the first step to controlling the infection. During the scaling portion of the process, tartar accumulations are removed from above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth. This discourages future build up while also encouraging the gum tissue to reattach to your teeth.
In some cases, we may recommend additional treatments, like antibiotic therapy. Often, you will need periodontal maintenance appointments every 3-4 months to ensure your gums remain infection-free. If you gum disease is severe or aggressive you may need to see a specialist.
To prevent the infection from reoccurring, it is vital to remain proactive about your gum health. It is best to:
Do not wait until it is too late to save your smile from gum disease. Contact our dental office today to schedule your consultation for periodontal therapy.